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Media Release

24 April, 2007

No fee payments, West Coast News, 24/4/07

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) is currently paying out the first allocations for 2007 to no-fee schools, in line with national policy.

We have informed Section 21 schools - those who manage their own finances - that the WCED would pay their allocations twice a year, in April and May. We hope to complete the process of paying the first allocations shortly.

The department will manage the allocations of non-Section 21 schools, namely, those that do not manage their own finances.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has scrapped school fees at 652 schools in the province, in line with the Education Laws Amendment Act 24 of 2005, on "no fee" schools in poor communities.

Education departments countrywide classify schools according to national poverty rankings, known as quintiles. The poorest schools are in national quintiles one and two, while the least poor schools are in national quintiles four and five.

In terms of the Act, schools in national quintiles one and two had to become no-fee schools from 1 January 2007. However, provinces could invite schools to apply for "no fee" status on a voluntary basis in 2006.

The WCED invited schools with certain poverty rankings to apply for "no-fee" school status in 2006. A total of 419 schools accepted the invitation. The status took effect in May last year.

In 2007, no-fee status will become compulsory at 407 schools in national quintiles one and two.

The WCED also invited schools in national quintile three to apply for no-fee status on a voluntary basis. As a result, parents of learners at 245 schools in quintile three do not have to pay school fees.

The Western Cape now has a total of 652 no-fee schools, representing 45% of the 1 452 schools in the province.

About 345 000 learners attend these schools, representing 38% of the learners in the Western Cape. This represents a considerable increase in the number of learners attending no fee schools in 2006, from 146 000.

Issued by:
Paddy Attwell
Director: Communication
Western Cape Education Department
Tel: 021 467 2531
Fax: 021 461 3694
Email: pattwell@pgwc.gov.za

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2007 WCED