With the school year getting off to a slow start due to the current pandemic, it may seem early to some parents to start considering registering their children in school for 2022 but it is best to keep on top of these things. Learners going into Grade R, Grade 1, or Grade 8 need to have had applications for enrolment sent in the previous year to the schools and those deadlines are coming up, depending on your province.
Enrolment is necessary at state and private school and follows a process. If your child is four years old and will be five years or older by 30 June the next year you can apply to enrol them in Grade R, and a student who is five years old and turning six or older by 30 June the next year is eligible to be enrolled in Grade 1. It is a parent or guardian’s responsibility to register learners at a school, and if the learner is moving schools the same process applies.
Though the Department of Basic Education states that the application dates fall between April and October of the preceding year of enrolment, it is vital to check the exact deadlines for your province as, for example, the Western Cape has already opened applications and the deadline is the 26th of March. The Western Cape is generally the earliest deadline but based on previous years the deadlines for Free State, Gauteng, and Northern Cape will be coming up in June and July, and the rest following soon after. It is also best to find out the exact protocol to follow for your specific province as some have moved to online application (such as Gauteng and the Western Cape) and some have not, and the documentation required might vary. It is recommended to have more than one school in mind when applying as spots can fill up and it is not always guaranteed that you will get your first choice of school.
All applications will require submitting of documents such as: application form of the school; your child’s birth certificate (a baptismal certificate is not sufficient); immunisation card; and transfer card or last school report card for children who are moving schools or are coming into Grade 1 or Grade 8. If the learner is not a South African citizen, you will need to submit: a study permit; proof of temporary or permanent residence from the Department of Home Affairs; or proof of having applied for permission to stay in the country.
The information will become available online as the application dates open, from different news sites and the Department of Education’s website, as well as the individual websites of the provincial Departments of Education, so keep an eye out!