School Fees and Fee Exemptions | Western Cape Government

School Fees and Fee Exemptions

(Western Cape Government)
This document provides information on how school fees are set and what parents need to do if they are unable to pay their child's school fees.
At each school, the School Governing Body decides what the fees will be. The majority of parents of children at the school must approve the fees at a general meeting of the parent body.

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.)

Who Can Apply for a Fee Exemption?

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.

How Do You Apply for a Fee Exemption?

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.

What Happens If You Get a Fee Exemption?
If you cannot pay the annual school fees and you receive exemption, the school is legally obliged to help you. The WCED has provided schools with guidelines on how to assist parents who are unable to pay school fees.
The content on this page was last updated on 15 March 2014