Media Release
Minister of Education Donald Grant
Western Cape

1 March, 2012

Western Cape starts enrolments for the 2013 school year

Statement by Minister Donald Grant, Minister of Education, Western Cape

Today the Western Cape Government started the first phase of the early enrolment process for the 2013 school year.

We believe that by starting this process so early in the year we are giving parents ample opportunity to enroll their children in good time for the start of the 2013 school year.

Each year the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) stresses the importance of enrolling children early for school, especially for parents of children who will be entering Grade 1 or Grade 8 the following year.

Early enrolment is necessary for a number of reasons.

It allows the WCED to plan for the year ahead. This depends on knowing how many learners will be in every school in 2013 well before the end of this year. We can then make provision for textbooks, educators, furniture, and other learning materials that are needed so that we can start the school year on time and prepared.

Early enrolment is also important because parents do not always get their children into their first schools of choice. What we have found in previous years is that parents apply only to a small number of schools and, in many instances, only one school.

I must stress that parents are not guaranteed their first schools of choice. They need to be prepared for the fact that their application can be unsuccessful. Being on a waiting list is also not a guarantee that the learner will be admitted to that school.

Applying early allows parents to consider in good time more options available to them. It also allows us to assist where necessary. There are areas, especially in the metro region, which are of high demand. In these circumstances the department sometimes needs, on a case by case basis, to advise parents on the best possible options available to them because of high demand.

Leaving enrolment to the last minute puts a massive demand and strain on the system because they are suddenly faced with an influx of learner applications to process and place.

The12 800 learners more than expected in the system at the start of the 2012 school year, it puts this demand into perspective.

Parents can apply to schools from today. The first phase of enrolments will end on the 22nd of June.

Parents must first deal direct with the schools at which they wish to enroll their children and apply. Parents should be informed by the beginning of July 2012 if their application has been successful.

Schools are then required to inform parents by 30 June 2012 if the child has been accepted.

This allows parents sufficient time to look for alternative schools at which to enroll their children in the second round.

The second phase will then begin on the 16th of July 2012. If parents continue to encounter difficulties in enrolling their child, they may approach their local education district office for assistance. Contact details of the relevant education district office may be obtained from the school.

Parents must provide the following documents when submitting their applications:

  1. The child's birth certificate (baptismal certificates are not regarded as proof of birth date).
  2. Immunisation card
  3. Transfer card or the last report card for learners who have already been to school.

Schools may enroll learners provisionally if these documents are not available. They will give parents and guardians reasonable time to submit them.

I sincerely hope that every parent wishing to enroll their child in a new school next year takes this process seriously. We want to assist all parents in the best way that we can. To do this, we need their cooperation.

So the message to parents is simple. We are giving you the opportunity to apply now. Make use of this opportunity and take responsibility for the education of your children by enrolling early.

By enrolling early we can make education Better Together.

For enquiries, contact Bronagh Casey:  072 724 1422 or

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2012 Western Cape Education Department