Access to education for non-national children in South Africa
Keep up to date with our Teach-Yourself Series – condensed articles on current and planned changes in South African migration law. Our articles and infographics aim to spread awareness on South Africa’s migration landscape, and our standpoints on the i …
- What does the law say?
- Do non-South African children have a right to education in South Africa?
- Must non-South African children pay school fees too?
- Do children need an identity document to enroll at a South African school?
- What kind of barriers do non-South African children face in accessing education in South Africa?
- What kind of problems are schools facing in terms of admitting undocumented children?
- What has been done, in the courts, about this, and what was the outcome?
- I have more questions, who can I ask?
What kind of problems are schools facing in terms of admitting undocumented children?
Schools – or school principals – can face severe government fines if they are found enrolling students who lack proper documentation, so many principals can be wary of admitting non-South African students. However, schools may not discriminate based on documentation status in an applicant’s admission. Furthermore, if a student is not admitted to a school, a written explanation for the refusal must be provided and parents have the right to appeal this decision according to the Schools Act.6 Some schools may request additional fees or previous transcripts to admit a non-South African student – this is unlawful. If you are told this by the school, please contact one of the organisations listed here.