Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | Western Cape Education Department

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The Frequently Asked Questions are grouped by topic as listed below.

How do I get my child enrolled in a school of my choice? - some points to consider
  1. Apply early. Don't wait till the last day.
  2. Apply to more than one school.
  3. Know the law/check the school's Admission Policy.
What is the admission age for Grade 1?
  1. Compulsory school-going age (Grade 1) is 7 years in the year that the child is in Grade 1.
  2. For admission to Grade R it is 4 turning 5 by 30 June in the year of admission. However, a school must give preference to children aged 5 years turning 6 years by 30 June of that Grade R year.
What documents are required to register a child at a public school?
  1. Birth certificate.
  2. Immunisation card.
  3. A transfer card/letter.
  4. Last school report card for learners who have been to school.
  5. A study permit issued by Home Affairs for foreign learners.

A child may be registered provisionally if these documents are not available. The parent must be given reasonable time to submit them.

Is it important to enrol a child for Grade R?

Yes. Early childhood development assists learners to cope better later on in their school careers.

Can a child be refused permission if they do not live in a school's feeder zone?

The WCED has not declared any feeder zones/areas.

Can schools charge a non-refundable deposit before accepting learner?

No. Schools may not charge a fee before accepting a learner.

Where do parents go if they do not find a place?

Parents may approach their local district office.

Cape Winelands
John Goliath
Tel: 023 348 6000
Tel: 023 348 4581

Eden & Central Karoo
Jewel Jonkers
Tel: 044 803 8300
Tel: 044 803 8317

Metro Central
Brenda Robertson
Tel: 021 514 6700
Tel: 021 514 6708
Tel: 021 514 6793

Metro East
Eric Magodla
Tel: 021 900 7203
Tel: 021 900 7206

Metro North
Wayne Abrahams | Leon Rutgers
Tel: 021 938 3006
Tel: 021 938 3004

Metro South
Lynn Primo
Tel: 021 370 2000
Tel: 021 370 2035

Japie Bailey
Tel: 028 214 7300
Tel: 028 214 7379

West Coast
Anlerie Truter
Tel: 021 860 1200
Tel: 021 860 1206

Head Office
Lance Abrahams
Tel: 021 467 2000

Redewan Larney
Tel: 021 467 2000

WCED Call Centre: 0861 923 322 (If you unsure of which district to approach)

How do I apply for Home Schooling?
  1. The education received by the learner at home must:
    1. meet the minimum requirements of the curriculum at public schools; and
    2. be of a standard not inferior to the standard of education provided at public schools.
  2. The parent(s) must contact the principal of a registered school of their choice regularly to keep in touch with the latest developments in education.
  3. The parent(s) must ensure that the learner registers in time and correctly for applicable examinations and that he/she sits for such examinations.
  4. Neither the education department nor a school shall be held responsible for any shortcomings and/or other deficiencies in a learner's scholastic achievements.
  5. The parents are responsible for all expenses regarding the learner's education.

The application form for Home Schooling, WCED 087, is available here.

For more information, contact:
Mr DD Louw
Tel: 021 467 2653
Fax: 021 467 2565

Where can I find a school calendar?

The school calendar for 2019, is available here.

The school calendar for 2020, is available here.

Can a school withhold results or refuse a child access to school because of outstanding school fees?


No learner can be denied admission or otherwise discriminated against on grounds of the parent's inability or failure to pay school fees.

Who qualifies to apply for exemption from payment of school fees and how does one apply for exemption?

Parents may be exempted from paying school fees depending on their combined annual gross income.

The categories for the purpose of exemption are as follows:

  • If the combined annual gross income of the parents is less than ten times the annual school fees per learner, the parent qualifies for full exemption;
  • If the combined annual gross income of the parents is less than thirty times but more than ten times the annual school fees per learner, the parent qualifies for partial exemption;
  • If the combined annual gross income of the parents is more than thirty times the annual school fees per learner, the parent does not qualify for exemption.

The categories are applicable if the annual school fees are determined in terms of section 39 of the Act.

A parent who wishes to be exempted from payment of school fees for each individual learner at a particular school must apply in writing to the chairperson of the governing body on the form that may be requested from the school.

Where do I find vacancies on your web site?

For a list of current vacancies, click here.

Can I register as an unemployed teacher with the WCED?

Download the registration form here.

Who should foreign educators seeking employment in South Africa contact?

Contact the Directorate: Education Labour Relations & Conditions of Service of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), telephone 012 312 5934 / 6047.

What is the procedure for suspending a child at a public school?

The governing body of a public school may, after a fair hearing, suspend a learner from attending the school as a correctional measure for a period not longer than a week.

A learner may be expelled from the school by the Head of Department pending a decision taken by the governing body of a public school in consultation with the provincial Head of Education.

What do I do if my child is bullied at school?

See the  Learner Discipline and School Management  document here.

Can a child be expelled from school because she is pregnant?


Section 9(3) of the Constitution, entitled "Equality", states that:
The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth."

See the  WCED Policy on managing learner pregnancy  document here.

If I did not obtain my NSC Certificate, what can I do?

Candidates who did not obtain a NSC Certificate but want to complete their NSC, can register as a private candidate to re-write the failed subject(s) at the next November NSC Examination.

Year marks/SBA (School Based Assessment marks) are valid for three years (the year in which a candidate wrote the NSC Examination for the first time and for the next two years).

Private candidates must register at a private education institution (one that is registered to offer the NSC Examination and is registered with the WCED as an Exam Centre) in order to obtain a year mark/SBA mark for the subject(s) that they wish to re-write.

When do I register?

Registration for repeater candidates usually takes place from 15 February to 15 March of the year the examinations are written.

Where do I register?

WCED Examination client contact centre
2nd Floor
Grand Central Towers
Lower Parliament Street
Cape Town

Contact telephone numbers:
021 467 2910 | 2911 | 2912 | 2913 | 2914 | 2915

Where can I find previous results?

Past question papers and memoranda

Exams Information

Where can one apply for a copy of a matric certificate?

From the examinations section of a Provincial Department of Education.

Enquiries regarding replacement certificates from the Western Cape Education Department may be made at the following telephone number:  021 467 2000

How to apply for replacement certificates

How long does it take to obtain a new copy of a matric certificate?

The Statement of Results is obtainable immediately after you have made a request.

A copy of a matric certificate takes 8 to 10 weeks.

What will happen to learners who wrote but failed their Senior Certificate?

Learners who failed their matric may re-write the Senior Certificate in May/June. Only candidates who have already written their Senior Certificate and need one or more subjects to obtain their certificate qualify to write the May/June examinations. Registration closes on 31 January 2019.

The Department of Basic Education will develop a qualification for adults which will be equivalent to matric for candidates who did not obtained their matric under the old curriculum.

Past question papers and memoranda

Where do I register?

Exams Information

What can parents do at home to build the Literacy and Numeracy skills of their children?

See our comprehensive list of  'tips'  for building the reading, writing and calculating abilities of children at home.