Former Model C school considers appeal

2011-12-08 21:04
Johannesburg - A Sandton school that lost a court case over its powers to admit pupils is considering the option of an appeal, its lawyer, Paul Lategan, said on Thursday.

"We are waiting for confirmation from our client."

Lategan said the matter was not limited to the school (Rivonia primary) but to every former Model C school in the province.

"They are all implicated."

The South Gauteng High Court ruled on Wednesday that school governing bodies (SGBs) in Gauteng did not have the unqualified power to determine admission policy at state schools.

Judge Boissie Mbha found that the provincial education department had the final say.

The school and its SGB took the Gauteng education department to court after it intervened when a child was refused entry to the predominantly-white school, which has the lowest class numbers in its area.

The school said it had reached its capacity.

The court ruled it was up to the department, not an SGB, to determine the maximum capacity of a public school.

The MEC for education should be the ultimate arbiter.

"In my view, providing a basic education across race and class requires government intervention in the preliminary power of SGBs to determine admission policies," the judge said.

"Leaving schools to determine their admission policy, including the power to determine their capacity... one unwittingly creates space [where] privileged schools can use and manipulate that power to fortify rather than dismantle existing inequalities."

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