Schools have to pay fee exemptions out of their own pocket

Former Model C schools are granting hundreds of millions of rands in fee exemptions to learners annually but are receiving a pittance in compensation from provincial education departments.

As the number of requests for exemptions grow, the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools (Fedsas) has asked the department of basic education to urgently investigate the possibility of reimbursing schools for fee exemptions with amounts similar to the subsidies given to no-fee paying schools.

Fedsas has specifically suggested an amount of R1 242 for every pupil that is granted a full fee exemption – what government was paying no-fee schools this year for every child that was enrolled.

Between April 2015 and March last year, more than 530 quintile four and five schools in Gauteng, the so-called wealthy schools, granted fee exemptions worth a staggering R631.6-million but received only R13-million back in compensation.

A total of 32 fee-charging schools in Edenvale, Kempton Park and Tembisa granted R45.7-million in fee exemptions in 2015 but received only R2.1-million in compensation.

These schools included:

  • Hoërskool Birchleigh: R4.1-million granted in fee exemptions and R162 072 received in compensation;
  • Eastleigh Primary: R3.5-million granted in fee exemptions and R84 457 received in compensation; and
  • Hoërskool Jeugland: R3.3-million granted in fee exemptions and R89 324 received in compensation.

The chief executive of Fedsas, Paul Colditz, confirmed that they will be meeting with the department of basic education in June to get feedback on their suggestion that provincial education departments pay R1 242 to a school for every learner that was granted a full fee exemption.

“We raised this issue during our meeting with the department last November and their response was that they would look into this matter.”

“The schools get very, very small amounts from the departments in compensation. The numbers speak for themselves.



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