Major changes on the cards for Gauteng schools

Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, has published the first post-apartheid education feeder zones in a bid to overturn spatial planning in the province’s education system.

A feeder zone is an area that a school should prioritise when admitting learners, taking into consideration learners who live close or whose parents work close to that school

“The Gazette (when adopted) will now allow our schools to recruit learners across all communities,” he said.

The announcement by Lesufi follows a 2016 Constitutional court judgement in which the court directed the department to determine feeder zones for public schools in the province.

According to a report by TimesLive, the maps of the 2,067 feeder zones were finalised for consultation, of which 334 schools contested their proposed feeder zones.

It added that feeder zones will be reviewed every three years, and that if a school governing body (SGB) is unhappy they can appeal their assigned feeder zone within 30 days.

“If there are 1,000 seats in a school, everyone gets in, regardless of from where they come,” said Gauteng education deputy director general Albert Chanee.

“If there are more applications than seats, the department will look at the feeder zone within a 30km radius for applications. People that are within 30km will have preference.”

Admission changes

The feeder zone changes will form part of a number of other amendments aimed at changing the admission policies of Gauteng public schools.

In July, Lesufi published amendments which state that a learner may not be refused admission on any grounds that constitute unfair discrimination, including race, ethnic or social origin, colour, gender, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS status, or any other illness.

In addition to the above grounds, the regulations state that a student’s financial status may no longer be a deciding factor when selecting them for admission.

According to the proposed amendments, a learner may not be refused admission:

  • Because his or her parent is unable to pay or has not paid school fees or the deposit determined by the school governing body;
  • He/she does not subscribe to the mission statement and code of conduct of the school;
  • He/she has refused to enter into a contract in terms of which the parent waives any claim for damages arising out of the education of the learner;
  • On the grounds that the learner is not entering into boarding accommodation offered by the school.

Admission tests have also been scrapped, while schools will also be barred from demanding confidential reports on parents’ financial status to determine whether they can afford the school fees, as well as their employment details or information relating to learners’ health, misconduct or behaviour that may be used to unfairly discriminate against learners.

A hard copy of the final feeder zones have been sent to schools.

Alternatively, you can find a full list of schools and areas in the gazette below.

Schools Gazette November 2018 by BusinessTech on Scribd

Read: South African schools will soon get these 3 new subject options

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Major changes on the cards for Gauteng schools