School Fees and Fee Exemptions
Once the fees have been agreed upon, all parents are legally required to pay them. If you cannot afford the fees or cannot pay the full amount, you must apply at the school for an exemption.
Public schools are not allowed to refuse admission, suspend pupils from classes, deny them access to cultural, sporting or social activities, or refuse to issue school reports if parents are unable to or fail to pay school fees. (They are, however, allowed to request that parents come to school and collect the reports in person.)
Exemption depends on the income of the parents in relation to school fees. If the school fees equal 10% or more of the joint income, parents qualify for full exemption. There is partial exemption if fees are between 2.5% and 10% of income, also depending on the number of children the parents have attending a public school.
To get a full or partial exemption, you must apply to the School Governing Body. It is your responsibility as the parents to apply for this exemption. Unless and until you have been granted exemption, you can be legally forced to pay the fees.
Once you have applied, the School Governing Body will decide whether to grant your application or not. It will use its fee policy to decide how much to reduce the fees.
If your application is turned down, you can apply to the Head of the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) for exemption.
- Rights and Responsibilities of Parents - A Public School Policy Guide (Public Information)
- Admissions to Schools (Service)
- South African Schools Act (Act) (File type: pdf; size: 85.06 KB)
- Exemption of Parents from the Payment of School Fees (Regulations Vol. 400 No. 19347) (Regulation) (File type: pdf; size: 1007.62 KB)