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Chapter 10

LEARNER MATTERS

10.9 HOME SCHOOLING

10.9.1Legislative and Policy Framework

ACTS

  • The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 [SASA]
  • The National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 of 1996) [NEPA]

 

POLICIES

  • Policy for the registration of learners for home education (Government Gazette No. 20659, November 1999) [NP RHE]
  • Government Gazette No. 42037 – 16 November 2018 Policy on Home Education 2018 [NP 42037/2018]

 

FreeState

ACTS

  • Free State School Education Act (Act No. 2 of 2000) [Reference B2 FS EDACT]

 

GUIDELINES

  • Free State Application Form for Home Education, [Reference B2 FS AHE]
  • Free State Home Education Compliance Checklist, [Reference B2 FS HECC]

KwaZulu-Natal

GUIDELINES

  • Manual for the Registration of Learners to Receive Education at Home, 2006 [Reference B4 KZN EH]

WesternCape

GUIDELINES

  • Registration of a Learner to Receive Education at Home [Reference B9 WC EH]

Mpumalanga

GUIDELINES

  • Administration of Home Education [Reference B6 MP AHE]

Gauteng

GUIDELINES

  • Home Education Registration Process [Reference B3 G EH]
  • Guidelines for Home Education and Lockdown Learning [Reference B3 LOCKDOWN LEARNING]
  • Frequently Asked Questions on Home Schooling [Reference B3 FAQ HOMESCHOOLING]

10.9.2Framework for the Development of School Policy on Home Schooling

(See Reference List C HOME ED, for a proforma of an application form for Home Schooling)

  1. Definition of Home Education
    Home education is –

    • a programme of education that a parent of a learner(s) may provide to his/her own child at their own home.
    • In addition the parent may, if necessary, enlist the specific services of a tutor for specific areas of the curriculum; or
    • a legal, independent form of education, alternative to attendance at a public or an independent school.
  2. Application for registration
    • A parent of a learner of compulsory school-going age must apply to the Head of Department to register each learner(s) to receive education at home, for the following compulsory phases of education: Foundation Phase (grades 1-3), Intermediate Phase (grades 4-6) and Senior Phase (grades 7-9). The age grade norms determined by the Minister in terms of the Act apply to a learner in home education (Government Notice No. 2433 of 1998). A parent of a learner, who is no longer of compulsory school-going age or grade as contemplated in section 3 of the Act, need not apply for registration for home education.
    • A parent of a learner with special education needs referred to in section 3(2) of the Act, who wishes to register his or her child for home education, must also apply for registration.
    • A parent must complete the prescribed application form for home education, which should be made available to him or her by the Head of Department or a duly authorised official, together with the conditions for registration. The contact address of a person from whom information pertaining to the provincial curriculum for the school phase of the learner, which also specifies the minimum standard of education, must also be provided to the parent. The parent must forward the completed form and a copy of the birth certificate of the learner to the Head of Department or the designated official. A pro forma application form is hereto attached for the guidance of provincial departments of education.
  3. Conditions for registration of a learner for education at home
    • The Head of Department, before setting conditions and considering registration in terms of section 51(2) of SASA, must obtain at least the following information from the parent pertaining to:
      • supporting arguments to substantiate that education at home will be in the interest of the learner    and that the learner will benefit from it, will be able to exercise his or her fundamental right to education, and will be taught at least as regularly and as well as in a public school. To determine what would be in the best interest of the learner, the parent must declare the highest education standard achieved by him or her, the hours of the day and the minimum days per year during which the parent plans to teach the learner, information about the programme that will be followed and the learning resources that will be available; and
      • the proposed curriculum to be used for home education for approval.
    • The learner programme must suit the age and ability of the learner. It will comply with the minimum requirements of the curriculum in public schools of the province and will not be inferior to the standard of education provided at public schools. The curriculum must comply with the language policy and the outcomes (standards) specified for each of the phases.
    • The learner will receive at least 3 hours contact teaching time per school day.
    • The education provided at home must be consistent with the values contained in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996) and the Act. Parents who choose home education for reasons related to curriculum, philosophy and pedagogy must not instill unfair discrimination, racism or religious intolerance in learners. The education must be consistent with the values contained in the Constitution that all role players must adhere to.
  4. Registration of a learner for home education
    • The Head of Department must take all reasonable steps to respond within 30 days after receipt of the application on the prescribed form. If he or she is satisfied that all conditions have been complied with, the Head of Department must register the learner for home education and provide the parent with a certificate of registration. If not, he or she must inform the parent in writing of the reasons for the application not being successful.
    • The registration under paragraph 9 remains in force until the learner reaches the end of each phase or until it is revoked. If a learner was educated at a public or independent school prior to being educated at home, the parent must obtain a transfer certificate from the school.
    • If the Head of Department refuses to register the learner, the parent must be informed that he or she may appeal in writing to the Member of the Executive Council in terms of section 51(4) of SASA.
    • The procedures prescribed in section 3(5) or (6) of SASA must be applied against a parent of a learner of compulsory school-going age who, for whatever reasons, is not registered for home education, and is not enrolled at a public school or a registered independent school, or is exempted from compulsory school attendance in terms of section 4 of SASA.
    • A learner who is registered, must keep his/her proof of registration e.g. the registration number.
      FREE STATE

      NOTE

      The Governing body of a public school may not refuse an application for the enrolment of a home-based learner at such school for additional educational support if the school has the capacity to provide the services requested at a negotiated and reasonable fee.

      The public school concerned shall not benefit from the enrolment of home-based learners in terms of educator learner ratio for the purpose of educator provisioning.

  5. Duties of the parent for the monitoring of home education
    • After the learner has been registered for home education, the parent must perform the following duties:
      • A record of attendance must be kept.
      • A portfolio of the work of a learner must be kept. Up-to-date records of progression of a learner must be maintained. A portfolio of the work of the learner with evidence of intervention and other education support given to the learner must be kept. Such records must be made available for inspection by a duly authorized official of the provincial department of education.
      • The parent must keep evidence of continuous assessment of the learner’s work, which reflects the learner’s progress towards achieving the outcomes of the learning programme. Evidence must also be kept of assessment/examinations at the end of each year of home education and at the end of grades 3, 6 and 9 stating whether or not the outcomes for these grades have been achieved.
      • The parent must keep all relevant assessment results for a period of three years for monitoring by the Head of Department.
      • At the end of every phase, the parent should appoint an independent, suitably qualified person(s) approved by the Head of Department at the parent’s own expense for the assessment of the learner’s progress at the end of the phase that the learner is completing. A parent may approach a public school or a registered independent school for assistance in obtaining such services. The person(s) must submit a statement to the Head of Department confirming that the learner so assessed has indeed reached the required level.
      • Should a learner be admitted to a public school or registered independent school, the parent must request the Head of Department in writing to terminate the learner’s registration for home education.
  6. Withdrawal of registration
    • The Head of Department may withdraw the registration of a learner who is receiving education at home, after having made a reasonable effort to obtain or verify relevant information, if –
      • any information contained in the application is false;
      • any of the conditions in paragraph 8 are not complied with; or
      • any of the criteria set in section 51(2)(b) of SASA are no longer complied with.
    • In accordance with section 51(4) of SASA, the registration may be withdrawn only after the Head of Department has –
      • informed the parent in writing of his or her intention to take action and the reasons therefore;
      • granted the parent an opportunity to make representations to him or her in relation to such action; and
      • has considered any such representations.
    • The Head of Department must inform the parent in terms of section 51(4) of SASA that he or she may, in writing, appeal to the Member of the Executive Council against the withdrawal of registration.
    • If a learner is within the compulsory school attendance age when the registration contemplated in terms of section 51 of SASA is withdrawn, such learner must then attend a school (either public or independent). A parent who fails to comply with the provisions of section 3 SASA regarding compulsory school attendance will, unless the learner is properly registered in terms of section 51 of SASA, be guilty of an offence.
  7. Re-admitting learners in a public school from Home Schooling
    • There is no national policy on this matter.
    • The learner must submit:
      • Proof of registration as home school learner;
      • A report on his performance as home school learner
    • In the case of a learner who wants to be permitted to a public school at a grade higher than Gr 9, the report on the learner’s achievement must show that the requirement for internal assessment and promotion has been met.
    • If the principal suspects that a learner is not up to standard for his/her age, the school can submit the learner to a test to determine the school/academic level of the learner.
    • If the learner tests lower than the expected level, the school can place the learner in the appropriate grade after consultation with the parent/s or guardian.
    • The principal and SMT must bear in mind that in the GET-band, a learner has a three-year margin per phase. A learner is allowed to fail only once per phase.
    • If the parent/guardian refuses the recommendation of the school, the principal should refer the matter to the local district office.
    • In cases where re-admission is requested, shortly before or during exams, it is recommended that the Principal should consult the local district office.