Here are the updated rules for South African schools – including return dates and new forms

The Department of Basic Education has published a new directive that provides further clarity on the new academic calendar for schools in South Africa.

The directive makes a number of amendments to a directive published by the department on Friday (29 May), including provision for aftercare facilities as well as ‘ongoing teaching’.

Notably, the directive also states that learners in Grades 1 and 2 will resume schooling on 6 July. However, the revised start-date calendar does not reflect the fact that the return of Grade 7 and 12 has been postponed until 8 June.

The below table outlines the return dates for all grades as well as remedial schools.

The directive states that schools may be permitted to deviate from the above phased-in return of grades provided that such school:

  • Complies with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on Covid-19;
  • Applies prior to implementing such deviation to the Head of Department.

Other major amendments include:

  • Aftercare – The directive states that aftercare facilities that are associated with schools, including aftercare facilities in education support centres, are allowed to reopen with schools, provided that they comply with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements on Covid-19;
  • No pupils can be disadvantaged –  The education department must make arrangements with a school for learners to receive ongoing teaching and learning to ensure that education continues in accordance with the curriculum and that a learner is not disadvantaged by the school not reopening;
  • Large schools – Schools with large enough facilities to comply with health, safety, and social distancing requirement do not have to change their traditional and daily timetable models, and may continue to operate in accordance with those timetable models;
  • Application forms – The directive includes application forms for schools which do not plan to follow the phased return (as in the above table) as well as a certificate for learners who are attending school within their own metropolitan area or district.

You can read the full gazette below. You can read the original directive published on 29 May here.


Read: Ramaphosa on getting children back to school in South Africa

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Here are the updated rules for South African schools – including return dates and new forms