Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Education MEC Debbie Schäfer

School admissions process for 2022 still has a long way to go

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jun 3, 2021

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Schools began to make the results of applications available to parents last week. However, some parents have not yet received an offer from any of the schools they applied to, leaving many concerned that they will not find a place for their child.

“I urge parents to remain calm. This is only the very first round of offers, and not receiving one at this stage doesn’t mean your child will not have a place at any school next year. Currently, parents who have received an offer of a place have until June 25 to confirm their final choice. Offers will continue to be made as schools get a clearer picture of how many places they have left,” said Debbie Schäfer, Education MEC for the Western Cape.

“More than 20 000 learners were accepted to more than one school. Therefore, over 20 000 places at schools will be made available to learners who were unsuccessful at a particular school. Over 50% of these are learners in Grade 8. So, we appeal to parents to understand that the process is not yet over,” she said.

Schäfer has also refuted some misconceptions being spread by various individuals about the application process.

“While parents apply via the online admissions system, it is not ‘the system’ that chooses whether a child is accepted. Schools evaluate the applications they receive via the system and make offers of placement on this basis. Each school has its own admissions policy as determined by the school governing body (SGB). The National Education Policy Act also specifies certain criteria to be considered, including where a learner lives or their parents work.

“We cannot guarantee a parent’s school of choice – each school has only a set number of places. Many of our parents have unfortunately applied to a small number of the highest-in-demand schools that are oversubscribed, that is, they have received far more applications than their available spaces can accommodate. This is why we urge parents to apply to up to 10 schools on the system, including those closest to them,” said Schäfer.

What to do if you have not received an offer for your child from a school

1. Write to the school’s SGB and ask it to review its decision on the application, and ask for the written reasons why the application was not accepted.

2. Ask to be placed on the school's waiting list. Places do become available because of learners decline them. The school will then offer placement to learners on the waiting list.

3. You have the right to submit an appeal on the outcome of the SGB’s review to the provincial minister, based on specific grounds. Your letter must clearly state the grounds for appeal (including evidence thereof) which will be compared to the reasons given by the school and the school’s admissions policy.

4. Should you not wish to appeal the decision because you do not feel you have the grounds, you should contact your district office admissions officers to seek assistance in finding a place for your child: https://admissions.westerncape.gov.za/admissions/admission.sm_admissions_tra cking.view_contact_us

“I understand that this is a difficult and long process. However, the process is not yet over. There will still be opportunities for placement in the weeks to come. We will do everything in our power to find suitable places for all learners – we ask parents for their patience while we do this.” said Schäfer.

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