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Media Release

17 July, 2007

Funding allocations and school subsidies

The WCED provided the following answer to a query from the West Cape News agency on school subsidies and allocations to no-fee schools.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) subsidises all public schools in the province. These include 1452 public ordinary schools and 71 special schools. We also provide grants to 87 independent schools.

The poorest schools receive up to six times more than wealthier schools, depending on their poverty rankings.

We fund schools according to poverty rankings of their surrounding communities, in line with National Norms and Standards for School Funding (NNSF).

We call these rankings, or categories, "quintiles". The poorest schools are in quintile one and the wealthier schools are in quintile five (see below).

Parents of learners at schools in quintiles one and two do not have to pay school fees. These schools became "no fee" schools from 1 January 2007, in line with national "no fee" school policy.

The WCED also invited schools in quintile three to apply for no fee status. Almost every school in this category accepted the invitation.

Parents of learners attending school in schools in quintiles four and five pay school fees. School governing bodies decide what the school fees will be in consultation with the parents.

Parents of learners attending these schools who cannot afford the school fees can apply for exemption from paying the fees, or partial exemption, depending on what they earn.

The issue of schools with poor learners in relatively wealthy areas is being looked at on the national level.

The following statistics reflect the number of schools in each quintile in the Western Cape, the number of learners who attend these schools, and the average allocation per learner in each quintile.

National Quintile 1

Number of schools: 286
Number of learners: 59 139
Allocation per learner: R738

National Quintile 2

Number of schools: 121
Number of learners: 73 927
Allocation per learner: R677

National Quintile 3

Number of schools: 248
Number of learners: 212 052
Allocation per learner: R554

National Quintile 4:

Number of schools: 340
Number of learners: 252 558
Average allocation per learner: R376

National Quintile 5

Number of schools: 457
Number of learners: 310 439
Average allocation per learner: R199

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