ConCourt: Dept can override admission policy

2013-10-03 17:36
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The education department has the power to override a school's admission policy, the Constitutional Court found on Thursday.

It upheld, in part, an appeal against a judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), holding that the head of the education department in Gauteng had the power to admit a pupil in excess of Rivonia Primary School's admission policy.

The matter came before the Constitutional Court after a Grade 1 pupil was refused a place at the Johannesburg school for the 2011 academic year, and placed on a waiting list.

The child's mother lodged a complaint with authorities, and the head of department in Gauteng instructed that the child be admitted.

The school brought an application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg, seeking a declaration that it had the power to set admission policy, and admit pupils in accordance with that policy. The court dismissed the application.

The school then approached the SCA, which held that the department did not have the power to override the school's admission policy. The matter was then escalated to the Constitutional Court.

On Thursday, the court's majority judgment was that the head of department had the power to admit the pupil.

Dept had to be procedurally fair

The Constitutional Court granted leave to appeal, and set aside and replaced the SCA's order.

"It is declared that the head of department of education in the province of Gauteng was empowered to issue an instruction to the principal of Rivonia Primary School to admit the learner in excess of the limit in its admission policy."

However, the court found that in exercising its power to instruct a principal of a public school to admit a pupil, the department had to act in a procedurally fair manner.

"It is declared that the head of department of education in the province of Gauteng did not act in a procedurally fair manner when he issued instructions to the principal of Rivonia Primary School to admit the learner and when he placed the learner in the school."

In an explanatory statement issued after the judgment, the court said a school governing body's power to determine capacity as part of its admission policy was subject to other provisions of the Schools Act, including that the department maintained "ultimate control over the implementation of admissions decisions".

Further, provincial regulations afforded the head of department the power to overturn a principal's rejection of a pupil's application for admission.
Read more on:    constitutional court  |  johannesburg  |  education

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.