Education dept to challenge school admissions ruling

The Gauteng education department will bring a Constitutional Court challenge against a Supreme Court of Appeal decision in favour of Rivonia Primary School’s governing body, it has said.

“We filed our intention to appeal just before Christmas in 2012 and we are waiting for a decision of the Constitutional Court,” said spokesman Charles Phahlane.

In 2010, the Gauteng education department forced the Rivonia Primary School’s principal to accept a wait-listed Grade One pupil even though the school was full.

On November 30 last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the governing body of a public school, and not the provincial education authority, had the authority to determine the number of children the school may admit.

The court held that a provincial government had no authority to override a school’s policy.

According to the judgment, the provincial government had made an issue of the fact that the school was located in an affluent, historically white suburb and had benefited from apartheid.

The court decided that the facts of the case showed these assertions were not relevant in deciding the issue.

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