Danielle Garrett
2 minute read
26 Apr 2018
2:10 pm

Are you exempt from paying school fees?

Danielle Garrett

If you struggle to pay school fees, take note.

Image: Pexels

According to South Africa’s constitution, every child has the right to schooling. Due to a weakened economy, rising unemployment and various other factors, some people are exempt from paying school fees.

It is illegal to request school fees from the following learners, Centurion Rekord reports:

– An orphan or child living in an orphanage

– An orphaned child living in a house of which another child as the carer

READ MORE: Single parents will pay lower school fees after SCA judgement

– A child being raised by a foster parent/guardian

– A child placed in a youth care centre or a place of safety

– A child placed in the care of a family member

– A child whose parent receives a social grant on behalf of that child

A parent who receives a social grant on behalf of a child must have the necessary permission or approval to do so.

Parents or guardians are legally exempt from paying school fees if they do not earn enough to do so. Those parents do, however, have to seek approval first.

Parents/guardians who cannot afford to pay school fees must have written consent from the school’s governing body to be exempted.

Here’s an example:

– If the school fees are 10 percent of your annual income, you do not have to pay school fees.

– If the school fees are eight percent of your annual income, each learner’s fees must be reduced by at least 88 percent.

– If the school fees amount to six percent of your annual income, each learner’s fees must be reduced by 67 percent.

– If the school fees amount to four percent of your annual income, the first learner’s fees will be reduced by 25 percent, and with 40 percent for each learner thereafter (with a maximum of four learners).

– If the school fees are 3.5 percent of your annual income, each learner’s fees have to be reduced by seven percent.

Parents/guardians can request application forms and policy documents from the school’s reception.

Can your child be refused entry to the school if school fees are not paid?

The answer to this pressing question is: no.

According to the Constitution, no learner can be refused from attending school if the parent cannot afford to pay school fees.

A learner cannot be punished, sent home or refused entry to class if a parent/guardian simply cannot afford to pay school fees; or if the parent/guardian simply forgot to pay.

A school that punishes a learner for any of the above is breaking the law.

For more information on how the school fee exemption process works, visit the department of basic education’s website or click here:

https://www.education.gov.za/Informationfor/ParentsandGuardians/SchoolFees.aspx

or click on

http://section27.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Chapter-7.pdf

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