Early school enrolment for 2017 | Western Cape Government

Early school enrolment for 2017

The Western Cape Government works very hard to accommodate all children in the provincial school system. We want all children who are preparing for their first year of primary or high school, to find a suitable placement in time for the new academic year. This is why we need parents and guardians to apply as soon as possible, so that we can assist those learners who aren’t accepted at schools of their choice. boy-reading-a-book.

School enrolment for 2017 opened on 1 February 2016 and will close on 11 March 2016. This is the period in which parents must make applications to schools for their children.

Should your child be accepted, the school will notify you no later than 24 June 2016. You’ll then need to confirm with the school by no later than 25 July 2016, that your child will be attending the school in 2017.

Working better together

Our schools and the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) need your help to make education better in our province. We need to plan ahead, and can only do so if we know how many learners will be attending each school. 

We have to meet various deadlines before the end of 2016 to ensure that we have everything in place in time for the 2017 school year, and we need to: 

  • know how many learners will be in each school to meet requirements, 
  • know where the department will have to deploy extra resources,
  • issue staff establishments to schools in August (based mainly on the expected number of learners at the school in 2017), and
  • allocate other resources including additional textbooks, stationery, furniture and accommodation, as required.

Enrolling your child in a school as soon as possible

If you want to enrol your child at a school of your choice, this is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Apply early. Don’t wait until the last day.
  2. Apply at more than one school. This is important, as schools are not required to accept all applicants. 
  3. Familiarise yourself with the South African Schools Act (Act 84 of 1996) and also check the school’s admission policy.

What you need

Parents and guardians have to provide the following documents: 

  • your child’s birth certificate
  • your child’s immunisation card,
  • a transfer card or letter,
  • a last school report if your child is already at school, and
  • a study permit issued by the Department of Home Affairs for foreign students.

Appropriate school age parent-and-learner

The compulsory school going age for Grade 1 is 7 years old in the year that the learner is in Grade 1. Learners should turn 6 in their Grade R year.

As a parent, it’s important that you enrol your child in Grade R because Early Childhood Development (ECD) can help your child to cope better, later in their schooling career.

Do schools have to give preference to children from surrounding communities?

The Western Cape doesn’t apply a policy of feeder zones to public schools. Our school governing bodies may determine their admission policies in terms of the South African Schools Act.

Some schools cater primarily for their surrounding communities, while others cater for learners who commute over long distances.

May a school charge an admission fee?

Schools may not charge an admission or administration fee before they accept a learner.

What if my child has not been accepted at the schools I applied at?

We can’t guarantee any placements at schools of choice, even if parents apply early. We encourage parents to apply to more than one school in case their schools of choice are full.

We also urge parents to accept offers of places as soon as possible, to avoid enrolling the same children at more than one school. This makes it easier to find places for all children.

Can I appeal if a school does not accept my child?


Yes. Parents may appeal to the relevant district office and the Western Cape Education Ministry. The department and the Ministry will take all factors into account when assessing the appeal. 

Our officials make every effort to accommodate children appropriately. They can’t guarantee places at schools of choice, especially when parents apply late. 


The Find-a-School database helps those parents who are looking for a school in the Western Cape but don’t know where to start looking. This is a great initiative by the WCED as a means of making finding a school easier for a parent who’s enrolling their child in school for the very first time.

Contact your nearest district office

If you want to find out more information regarding enrolment process, you can contact the following district offices:

WCED Head Office

021 467 2000

Metro Central District Office

021 514 6700

Metro East District Office

021 900 7000

Metro North District Office

021 938 3000

Metro South District Office

021 370 2000

Cape Winelands District Office

023 348 4600

Eden & Central Karoo District Office

044 803 8300

Overberg District Office

028 214 7300

West Coast District Office

021 860 1200

You can also contact:

The content on this page was last updated on 17 February 2016