Schools given breathing space on applications

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may 16 parents INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Long wait... Hopefull parents have been braving the cold weather while joining the queue to have their children admitted to the popular Parkview Pre Primary School. Picture: Steve Lawrence

The Gauteng Department of Education has shifted the start of the application process for 2013 to Monday May 22.

This follows an outcry by school governing body (SGB) associations and the public over a memorandum that was sent out to district directors, principals and SGB associations by Gauteng Department of Education head Boy Ngobeni last week.

In the memo, Ngobeni said the admission process for next year would start on May 14 and close on June 22.

During the launch of the 2013 school admissions campaign in Joburg yesterday, Education MEC Barbara Creecy said that “following requests yesterday (Monday) for the extension from school governing bodies, associations and civil society”, the department would move the application process to May 22, and it would close on July 27.

“Starting about three months early (will enable) us to put our house in order and prepare for the first day of the 2013 schooling year. We will have more time to place learners during this application period and assist parents who may not have found space in schools closer to where they stay or work,” she said.

Creecy urged parents of children already in school to fill in the slips that schools will send them to confirm whether or not their children will remain at the school. This, she said, was so the department was aware of the availability of spaces in schools.

Copy of barbara creecy Gauteng MEC for Education Barbara Creecy. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

To deal with the last-minute influx of late applications in January, Creecy said the department had set up a rapid-response team that would ease pressure at schools, especially those in the south of Joburg, which tended to be overwhelmed by a high number of applications.

“This team is responsible for supplying extra textbooks, stationery, classrooms and furniture to accommodate late learners in the province,” the MEC said.

What you need to know to register your child:

1) The application form that will be available at the school should be accompanied by:

l A birth certificate;

l Proof of residence;

l A transfer card or the last report card– if your child is moving from another school;

l Study permits for legal immigrants; and

l For children in primary school, a copy of their immunisation card must be attached.

2) When you submit the application form and the required documents, the school must give you a reference number. This number is an indication of your child’s position on the two waiting lists.

l If your residential and/or work address is within a 5km radius of the school (the feeder area), your child’s name will be on waiting list A.

l If you’re outside this feeder zone, your child’s name will be on waiting list B.

3) According to the South African Schools Act, parents are not supposed to pay any fees for the registration process. This includes an “advancement” on school fees to secure a place.

4) No child is obliged to write a assessment or tests for placement. At specialist schools, however, principals can administer admission tests with written approval from the head of department.

5) After the closing date, July 27, you will be notified whether your application was successful or not by September. If your child was rejected and you wish to appeal, you must lodge an objection with the head of department within seven days after being informed of the school’s decision. You will be notified of the outcome of the appeal within 15 days.

Ultimately, it’s the department’s duty to ensure that every child of school-going age is in school. If your child can’t be accommodated at the preferred school, the department is obliged to find another school. - The Star

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