Big changes are coming to Gauteng schools

The Gauteng Department of Education is on track to release new feeder zone regulations for the 2020 school year.

This is according to Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, who said that the new regulations will mean that children will not be discriminated against based on where they live.

Originally gazetted in November 2018, the new feeder zone regulations are aimed at overturning spatial planning in the province’s education system.

The regulations follow a 2016 Constitutional court judgement in which the court directed the department to determine feeder zones for public schools in the province.

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.

Historically student could only apply to schools within 5km of where they lived.

The new criteria will allow learners to access a school:

  • If their place of residence is closest to the school within the feeder zone;
  • If they have a sibling in the school;
  • If the place of employment of at least one parent of the applicant is within the feeder zone;
  • If the learner’s place of residence is within a 30km radius of the school depending on space availability; and
  • If the learner’s place of residence is beyond a 30km radius of school depending on space availability.

“The commencement of the amended regulations will be effective from the date of publication. The 2020 admissions process will be conducted under the provisions of the amended admission regulations,” said Lesufi.

He added that about 2,067 maps were finalised and published as part of the consultation process, with 334 schools contesting their proposed feeder zones.

“We must emphasise that the adjudicating process was in favour of 90% of schools that contested and recommended adjustments, which were implemented accordingly,” said Lesufi.

He said that the remaining 10% of schools misinterpreted their feeder zones, confusing the 30km application radius with the feeder zone determination which was not provided for in terms of the criteria for determining feeder zone.

This confusion was swiftly resolved, he said.

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Big changes are coming to Gauteng schools