Private school overruled

2012-01-19 00:00

A PRIVATE school in Pietermaritzburg has been ordered by the high court to allow two pupils to attend class after barring them from returning this year.

The C21 Private School in Northdale must admit the two grade 11 scholars with immediate effect and the court interdicted the school from refusing the boys’ admission without “following due process”.

It is alleged in court papers by the fathers of the two pupils that they were given insufficient time to find other schools for their sons as they only learned shortly before the school re-opened on January 10 that it was not going to admit them this year.

One of the pupils had attended the school since the start of his high school career at the end of 2008 and the other since February last year.

The father of the latter said when his son passed grade 10 he had expected that he would “automatically” be promoted to grade 11 at the school. He and his wife found it “strange” when advised by the school to fill out a new application form in January this year and pay an application fee of R200.

The parents of both the affected pupils were also advised to submit “motivational” letters to the school in support of their sons’ applications.

Both were subsequently advised that the school had turned down their application for admission. It was alleged this decision was prejudicial to the students and deprived them of their constitutional right to education.

According to the boys’ fathers there had been complaints lodged against their sons last year for “absconding registration” (being late for school and not signing the register), and for “allegedly smoking in the toilets”.

However they said no disciplinary inquiries were held by the school and their sons were not suspended.

They also maintained their sons were not caught smoking, but that they had been present in a cloakroom with others, one of whom had been smoking.

Judge Anton van Zyl granted the order.

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