Outstanding school fees, classes & exams

The South African Schools Act with regards to public schools
It is noted in Section 41 (7) of the South African Schools Act, 1998 (Act No. 84 of 1998) that a learner may not be deprived of his or her right to participate in all aspects of the programme of a public school despite the non-payment of school fees by his or her parent and may not be victimised in any manner, including but not limited to the following conduct:

(a) Suspension from classes;

(b) verbal or non-verbal abuse;

(c) denial of access to

    (i) cultural, sporting or social activities of the school; or

     (ii) the nutrition programme of the school for those learners who qualify in terms of the applicable policy; or

(d) denial of a school report or transfer certificate.

What does the Schools Act mean for parents?

  • If your child attends a public school and you are struggling to keep up with paying the school fees, they can’t send your child out of the class/home and they can’t refuse your child to participate in any activity (extra mural or exams) or refuse to give them a report card.
  • You can apply for a reduced school fee rate or to be exempted from paying school fees if the school fees are between 2.5 % and 10 % of your household income.
  • Schools are not allowed to ask for registration fees.
  • No fee schools can’t ask parents for school fees.
  • If a school is doing something wrong according you, you can report it to your District or Provincial office. Find your Provincial Department of Education Office here.

What can the school do?

  • If you don’t fit the fee-exemption criteria, they can hold you liable for the school fees. This also means that they can take legal action against you.
  • They can offer you different payment options. When you struggle to keep up with the school fees, make an appointment with them to work out a payment plan.

What can I do if I'm struggling to get my child into a school?

You might also want to read more about how you could make education more affordable