1. The National Senior Certificate (NSC) policy document was promulgated in Government Gazette No 27819 of July 2005 and describes the rules and provisos for the awarding of this qualification at Level 4 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
2. Irregularities in 2007
2.1 It has come to the attention of the WCED that some Independent schools are allowing candidates who have failed the Grade 11 examination in 2006 to enter as full-time candidates for Grade 12 in 2007.
2.2 As the Senior Certificate will come to an end in 2007 and examinations will only be conducted for learners who need to complete their Senior Certificate from 2008 - 2011, and as these incidents have only been picked up at this late stage of the year, the learners in schools that have engaged in this practice will be allowed to complete the 2007 academic year and write the Senior Certificate.
3. Requirements of the NSC
3.1 The National Senior Certificate (NSC) is a three-year programme comprising Grades 10 - 12 and will be written for the first time in Grade 12 in 2008.
3.2 The NSC policy indicates

"to obtain a NSC, a learner must complete the programme requirements for Grades 10, 11 and 12 separately and obtain the distinct outcomes and associated assessment standards of all three years; and comply with the internal assessment requirements for Grades 10, 11 and 12 and the external assessment requirements of Grade 12 as contemplated in the Subject Statements and the Subject Assessment Guidelines of the various subjects".
3.3 Candidates must therefore pass Grade 10 in order to enter Grade 11 and pass Grade 11 in order to enter Grade 12.
3.4 In the event of a learner failing a grade at one school, that learner cannot be allowed into the following grade at another school, even if the school is an Independent school.

4. From 2008, any school that engages in the illegal practice of allowing learners that have failed in one school to be placed in a higher grade at their school will be instructed to return the learner to the grade that he/she failed. This will happen even if it is discovered late in the year. This applies to Grades 1 - 12.
5. All schools, including Independent schools, must follow the policy of the National Senior Certificate in terms of general requirements. Failure to follow policy may lead to sanctions by the Department.
6. Kindly share the contents of this circular with teachers, parents and learners.

DATE: 2007:09:05