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Rivonia judgment 'unfortunate'

Bloemfontein - The education advocacy group Equal Education (EE) hopes a recent Supreme Court of Appeal decision on school capacity will be overturned, it said on Monday.

The SCA found that the Gauteng government’s instruction to the Rivonia primary school to admit a pupil contrary to the school's admission policy and the admission of the child were unlawful.

Rivonia Primary School is at the centre of a court battle. Picture: Steve Lawrence. Credit: Steve Lawrence, The Star

The judgment overturned a high court decision which held that the overall authority to determine school capacity was that of provincial education departments.

EE, the Centre for Child Law and the Legal Resources Centre were amicus curiae - friends of the court - in the appeal case.

The SCA held that the governing body of a public school had the authority to decide capacity as part of its admissions policy under the SA Schools Act.

The finding was hailed as a victory for school governing bodies.

However, EE said it believed the governance of school admissions had to remain primarily in the public domain.

It could not be entirely in the hands of individual schools, which had a narrow interest.

EE felt the law had to and did support access to well-resourced public schools, while work continued to bring most other public schools to acceptable levels. It felt the SCA erred in this respect of its findings.

The three advocacy groups indicated they would again support, as amicus curiae, a challenge in the Constitutional Court, if the Gauteng education department sought leave to appeal.

Sapa

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