Possible settlement in principal’s hearing

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high school sep 14 Independent Newspapers

Johannesburg - A settlement could possibly be reached in the disciplinary hearing of a school principal who refused to admit a pupil to her school, the hearing was told on Wednesday.

The education MEC was not the only person with authority to overturn an admissions' decision, said Qiniso Zwane, the co-ordinator of appeals at the department's head office.

The Head of Department (HOD) also had the same right, he told the hearing taking place at the Gauteng education department offices.

Carol Drysdale was charged with insubordination after refusing to follow an instruction from the HOD to accept the pupil.

The school placed the child on a waiting list, saying their classes were full and the pupil's application was late.

Drysdale said she had not known about the regulation which granted the HOD this power.

“My client would have followed the instructions had she known,” said her legal representative Dion Masher.

Hearing chairman Terry Motau, said this was a new turn to the matter.

In Tuesday's proceedings, Zwane said the school did not follow its own admission policy regarding the pupil.

He disputed that the school was full as Drysdale had stated.

Her legal representative argued this did not take into account that the admission policy also stated a grade could not have more than 120 pupils, with the five Grade 1 classes totalling 120 pupils.

The matter went to the High Court in Johannesburg, which ruled that it was up to the provincial department, not the school governing body, to determine the school's maximum enrolment.

The case continues. - Sapa

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