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How To Apply For Primary School

Starting at a new school can be quite exciting for children and parents, however, before all that excitement takes place, certain steps need to be taken to register the child at a school. Here is how you can apply to a primary school.


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The South African Schools Act of 1996 stipulates that all children between the ages of 7 and 15 should attend school. Parents and guardians of children between these ages are responsible for ensuring that their children are registered at and attend school regularly.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to register their children before the end of the school year for the following year. 

Children may be registered at schools that are close to their home or the parent’s place of employment.

Parents are reminded to check the school registration deadlines of their province because each province has its own registration deadlines.

The Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools states that the admission age for primary school learners is as follows:

  • Grade R: Learners need to be four years old or turning five by 30 June in the year of admission.
  • Grade 1: Learners should be five or turning six years old by 30 June in the year of admission.

School principals should provide parents or guardians with the school admission policy and explain it to them. Public schools may not administer any test for admission to a school, whereas independent schools may require learners to pass a test before admission. 

Parents will need to present the following documents when registering:

  • Application form from the school
  • Official birth certificate (Baptism certificates will not be regarded as proof of birth date)
  • Immunization card
  • Transfer card and latest school report (If the child is moving from one school to another)

Non-South African citizens need to include the following additional documents:

  • Study permit
  • Temporary or permanent residence permit or proof that you have applied for permission to stay in South Africa.

Application forms may be collected from the schools.


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