2022 school admissions process still has a long way to go
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education Western Cape
The initial round of offers for places in Western Cape schools is currently underway. Schools began to make the results of applications available to parents last week. However, some parents have not yet received an offer from any of the schools they applied to, leaving many concerned that they will not find a place for their child.
I urge parents to remain calm. This is only the very first round of offers, and not receiving one at this stage doesn’t mean your child will not have a place at any school next year. Currently, parents who have received an offer of a place have until 25 June 2021 to confirm their final choice of school for 2022. Offers will continue to be made as schools get a clearer picture of how many places they have left.
Over 20 000 learners were accepted to more than one school. Therefore, over 20 000 places at schools will be made available to learners who were unsuccessful at a particular school. Over 50% of this, are learners in Grade 8. So, we appeal to parents to understand that the process is not yet over.
I make a special appeal to the parents who have received an offer of a place: please confirm your choice urgently. This allows a school to know how many remaining places they have left, and to make further offers to anxious parents if they still have space. This is especially true of the parents of the over 20 000 learners who received offers from more than one school – ‘double-parking’ for an extended period of time slows down the process, so I urge them to speedily confirm their acceptance of one of these places.
Misconceptions about school placement
I have also noticed some misconceptions being spread by various individuals about the application process, which must be refuted.
While parents apply via the online admissions system, it is not ‘the system’ that chooses whether a child is accepted. Schools evaluate the applications they receive via the system and make offers of placement on this basis. Each school has its own admissions policy as determined by the School Governing Body (SGB), which the school applies to all the applications it receives. The National Education Policy Act also specifies certain criteria to be considered, including where a learner lives or their parents work.
We cannot guarantee a parent’s school of choice – each school has only a set number of places that can be filled. Many of our parents have unfortunately applied to a small number of the highest in demand schools that are vastly oversubscribed, that is, they have received far more applications than their available spaces can accommodate. This is why we urge parents to apply to up to 10 schools on the system, including those closest to them.
What to do if you have not received an offer for your child from a school
- Write to the school’s SGB and ask them to review their decision on the application, and ask for the written reasons that the application was not accepted.
- Ask the school to be placed on the waiting list. As places do come available due to learners declining spaces, the school will then offer placement to learners on the waiting list.
- You have the right to submit an appeal on the outcome of the SGB’s review to the Provincial Minister, based on specific grounds. Your letter must clearly state the grounds for appeal (including evidence thereof) which will be compared to the reasons given by the school, and the school’s admissions policy.
- Should you not wish to appeal the decision because you do not feel you have the grounds, you should contact your district office admissions officers to seek assistance in finding a place for your child: https://admissions.westerncape.gov.za/admissions/admission.sm_admissions_tracking.view_contact_us
I understand that this is a difficult and long process. However, the process is not yet over. There will still be opportunities for placement in the weeks to come.
We will do everything in our power to find suitable places for all learners – we ask parents for their patience while we do this.
Spokesperson to Minister Debbie Schäfer
Western Cape Ministry of Education