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Johannesburg - The Constitutional Court is expected to rule on Thursday on who should have the final say on public schools' admissions policies.
The matter came to the Constitutional Court after Rivonia Primary School refused to admit a child to Grade One pupil when the parents applied in 2010, because the school was full.
The Gauteng government instructed the school to admit the pupil, contrary to the school's admission policy.
The Supreme Court of Appeal found in November that the Gauteng government's instruction to the school was unlawful, and that a school's governing body had the authority to determine the school's capacity.
The judgment overturned a high court decision which held that the overall authority to determine school capacity rested with provincial education departments.
In the Constitutional Court, the Gauteng department of education argued that “any provincial law” would override the school governing body's power over its admissions policy.
The department contends it has a duty to ensure there are enough places for every child to attend school.
The school and its governing body argue that relevant parts of the South African Schools Act, properly interpreted, give the governing body the power to determine the school's capacity.
Equal Education and the Centre for Child Law were together admitted as friends of the court, and the SA Onderwysersunie was admitted separately as a friend of the court.