Admissions Policy


1. PREAMBLE

Fish Hoek High School’s (the “School”) medium of instruction is English.  The School aims to realise the full academic potential and holistic development of all its learners in an orderly and structured environment where rights are balanced by responsibilities.

While this objective is not a criterion for admission, it does underpin how the School works and should be understood to outline the system for admission to which application is being made. 

The purpose of the admission policy is not exclusion, but the rational and objective management of over subscription for the available places.

2. LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK

The admission of learners to the School is subject to the following statutory provisions:

2.1. The Constitution, No. 108 of 1996 ( “the Constitution”);

2.2. The South African Schools Act, No. 84 of 1996 (“the SASA”);

2.3. The National Education Policy Act, No. 27 of 1996;

2.4. The Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools, GG 19377, Notice No. 2432 of 1998, dated 19 October 1998 (“the National Policy”);

2.5. The Western Cape Provincial School Education Act, No. 12 of 1997, as amended (“the WCPSEA”);  

2.6. The WCED Policy for the Management of Admission and Registration of Learner’s at Ordinary Public Schools (“the Western Cape Policy”);

2.7. The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, No. 3 of 2000;

2.8. The Refugees Act, No.130 of 1998;

2.9. The Immigration Act, No. 13 of 2002;

2.10. The POPI Act of June 2021.

3. LEGAL PRINCIPLES

The admission policy of the School must be consistent with the Constitution, the National Policy, the SASA and the WCPSA.

3.1. Unfair discrimination: The School will not unfairly discriminate against a learner who applies for admission to the School. Therefore, no learner will be refused admission on grounds of race, gender, culture, language, religious belief or financial circumstance.

3.2. Testing of learners: The School will not administer any test relating to the admission of a learner to the School, or direct or authorise the Principal or any other person to administer such a test.

3.3. Feeder zones: The School takes cognisance of the fact that the WCED has not determined any feeder zones for public schools in the Western Cape.

3.4. School language policy:   The SGB determines the language policy of the School, subject to the Constitution, the SASA and any other applicable law.

3.5. Over-age learners:

3.5.1. An over-age learner is a learner who is more than two years older than the age group norm (the Grade plus six years).

3.5.2. The School will, subject to the provisions below, not refuse continued education at the School to learners who are in the school system, but who have become over-age because of repeating grades:

3.5.2.1. When transferring from one school to another, such over-age learner may be admitted only with the approval of the circuit team manager.

3.5.2.2. A learner who has repeated one or more years at school is exempt from the age grade norm, except that, if a learner is three years older than the norm age per grade, the HoD must determine whether the learner will be admitted to that grade.

3.5.2.3. Multiple repetitions in one grade is not permissible.

3.5.3. Where insufficient vacancies exist at the School, learners of compulsory school-going age shall have preference of admission over deregistered learners who are not of compulsory school going-age and over-age and under-age learners. Deregistered learners who are above the compulsory school-going age will be referred to an ABET centre or an FET college.

3.6. Parental responsibility: Every parent must ensure that a child, for whom the parent is responsible, attends school from the first school day of the year in which such a learner turns seven, until the last school day of the year in which the learner reaches the age of 15 years or the ninth grade, whichever occurs first.

4. GENERAL PROVISIONS

4.1. The SGB acknowledges that:

4.1.1. it stands in a position of trust towards the School;

4.1.2. it has been entrusted with a public resource that must be managed in the interests of learners, parents and the broader community in which the School is located; and

4.1.3. the admission policy has to adhere to and must be consistent with the relevant legal provisions and enactments to the extent that they are valid and binding upon them and take precedence over the right of the SGB to determine the admission policy to the School.

4.2. The SGB strives to:

4.2.1. ensure the lawful administration of learner admission and registration in the School;

4.2.2. facilitate the admission of learners to the School in a timely and efficient manner

5. THE CAPACITY OF THE SCHOOL

The School Governing Body intends, based, inter alia, on the post-provisioning of the Western Cape Education Department, total number of teachers, classrooms and other facilities in the school, and the choice of subjects offered (and subject to the provisions of the SA Schools Act (84 of 1996) and the Western Cape Provincial Schools Act (12 of 1997), WCED Circular 40 of 2004) to admit up to 224 learners in Grade 8.

The final number of learners accepted into the School at any one time shall not exceed the capacity in any one grade without the motivation of the Principal and ratification by the SGB. In reaching a decision on this figure all relevant factors will be taken into account, including, but not limited to the following:

5.1. The education needs, safety and well-being of the learners are of paramount importance in determining the capacity of the School;

5.2. The number of available educators at the School;

5.3. The maximum number of learners permitted per class;

5.4. Recognised best practice with regard to class size in order to deliver effective and efficient quality education;

5.5. Space requirements, including areas for administration needs for educators and other staff;

5.6 The need to provide workspace to support the educational process by providing designated and exclusive space for the management and administration of the School, staff workrooms, a staff room including workshops for maintenance staff and storage rooms;

5.7. The number of appropriate, designated and suitably sized classrooms;

5.8. Space needs for sport, learning support, cultural– and recreational programmes and activities to take place at the School;

5.9. The provision of continued space for Library Education, Dance, Drama, Art, Computer Education, Music rooms, Indoor- and School hall, and Science laboratories;

5.10. The provision of sufficient sanitation and ablution facilities and playground space for the total number of learners and staff;

5.11. In determining capacity, it will be considered that parents through the SGB  have extended the buildings as well as hired additional staff in order to improve the education offered, to support the School administratively and to maintain the facilities.

6. SELECTION CRITERIA

6.1. The School will, where it is reasonably practicable and where the School has the relevant educational support, admit learners with special educational needs.

6.2. Admission to Grades 9 – 11 will be considered only if there are vacancies in the relevant grade.

6.3. Only in exceptional circumstances will applications be considered for learners entering Grade 12.

6.4. Where it becomes necessary to select learners because the number of applicants exceeds the number of available places in the School, grade or class for which the application is made, admission shall be based on the criteria below.  Parents must note that the absence or presence of one or more of these criteria does not mean that a learner will necessarily be refused or guaranteed admission to the School.

6.5. The selection of a learner shall be based on the following criteria, which are set out in no particular order:

6.5.1. The timely application of the online WCED application;

6.5.2. The successful completion of or promotion out of the grade immediately below the grade in which the admission is sought;

6.5.3. The learner’s proficiency in English, which is the language of teaching, learning and communication at the School. It is in the best interests of the learner that they be able to cope with an English medium environment.  Learners must have passed English as Home language or have a proven equivalent facility in English;

6.5.4. Academic excellence or potential;

6.5.5. The willingness of a learner to participate in and add value to school life;

6.5.6. Achievement and/or participation in school sport;

6.5.7. Participation and achievements in cultural – and other extramural and community activities;

6.5.8. Leadership positions and/or potential;

6.5.9. Disciplinary and behavioural record, diligence and social skills;

6.5.10. The available number of places at the School, determined by the School’s capacity and the School’s commitment to providing quality education to all its learners;

6.5.11. Applicants who are siblings of current and immediate past learners of the School;

6.5.12. The fact that the learner is the child of a past learner of the School, except where this is not in the best interests of the learner.

6.6. The precise application of the admissions criteria, the evaluation of each application against the criteria and the weighting afforded to each criteria shall remain within the discretion of the SGB.

7. SCHOOL FEES

7.1. The School is a fee-paying school. The SGB accepts the responsibility of raising the money needed to run the School through charging parents school fees. The SGB will take all reasonable measures within its means to supplement the resources supplied by the State in order to improve the quality of education provided by the School to all learners at the School.

7.2. School fees payable in respect of each learner admitted to the School shall be determined by the SGB with the approval of a majority of parents attending a general parent meeting, which meeting shall be arranged each year by the SGB.

7.3. A parent is liable to pay the school fees determined by the SGB unless or to the extent that the parent has been exempted by the SGB from payment in terms of the SASA.

7.4. A parent who wishes to be exempted from the payment of school fees for a learner at the School must apply annually in writing to the chairperson of the SGB for exemption.  The form to be completed for the application is available upon request from the School.

7.5. The School may by process of law enforce the payment of school fees by parents who are liable to pay school fees.

7.6. The School will not charge a registration fee, a deposit, re-admission or pre-admission testing fees, or any other fees at the time of application. School fees, and any other fees, will only be charged after the learner has been informed in writing of his/her acceptance for admission to the School.

8 . APPLICATION PROCESS

8.1. Phase 1:   Application for admission. The first phase involves the following:

8.1.1. Parents must register AND apply via the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) online admissions website.

8.2. Phase 2:   Registration for enrolment. 

8.2.1. The second phase commences after acceptance of a learner with the compulsory registration of the learner on the Central Education Management Information System (hereinafter referred to as “CEMIS”) as part of the school enrolment and the successful completion of the required documents. 

9. DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION TO – AND ENROLMENT

9.1. Admission documents

The WCED CEMIS Learner Registration Form is used by the School. In addition to the compulsory CEMIS information, the School will request other information required by the School for its own administrative and record purposes.  

The following documents must accompany the duly completed Registration for Enrolment/ Application: 

9.1.1. An original certified copy of the child’s birth certificate.  An official unabridged birth certificate (or proof of application) will be required if the child’s surname is different to either one of the parents – except due to divorce, re-marriage, adoption/foster.

In a case where a parent is unable to submit the birth certificate of the learner, the learner may be admitted conditionally for a period of six weeks, allowing the parent to obtain a copy of the birth certificate from the Department Of Home Affairs.  The Principal will refer cases of parents who fail to submit documents within the stipulated six-week period to the District Director, who may extend the period on good cause shown by the parent.

9.1.2. The academic school report issued by the school last attended by the learner as indicated on the application form;

9.1.3. A certified copy of a utility account or lease agreement of the parents;

9.1.4. A certified copy of each parent’s identity document; 

9.1.5. Such additional documents may be requested by the School from time to time.

9.2. Admission of Foreign Nationals

The Western Cape Education Department’s Admission Policy applies equally to learners who are not citizens of South Africa and whose parents are in possession of a temporary or permanent permit for residents issued by the Department of Home Affairs. 

9.2.1 In addition to the aforesaid compulsory documents, non-South African citizens also need to submit the following documents:

Resident’s Permit

A certified copy of the official permit of residence must accompany the application form in order for the application to be considered;  OR

Refugee/Asylum Permit

A certified copy of the official permit must accompany the application form in order for the application to be consider;  OR

Study Visa

A learner who entered the country on a Study Visa, shall present the Study Visa when making an application for admission, a certified copy of the Study Visa must accompany the application in order for the application to be considered.  An exception to this provision will apply to learners who came from countries where Study Visas are only issued once a learner can prove that they have been admitted at a school in South Africa:  Such learners will not be required to submit Study Permits when submitting their applications for admission.  Should such a learner’s application be successful, they will be admitted provisionally on condition that they submit their Study Visa when they register at the School.

9.2.2 Persons classified as illegal immigrants must, when they apply for admission to the School for their children or for themselves, show evidence that they have applied to the Department of Home Affairs to legalise their stay in the Country in terms of the Immigration Act, No. 13 of 2002, or the Refugees Act, No. 130 of 1998.

9.2.3 Should documents remain outstanding, the learner may be conditionally admitted and the matter will be referred to the District Director.

9.3. Registration documents

9.3.1. All learners in the WCED school system must be registered in the WCED’s CEMIS system.

9.3.2. A learner registration form is used to register learners who entered the WCED school system for the first time and must accompany the application when the learner registers at the School from another province or country.

9.3.3. The CEMIS transfer certificate is required when the learner leaves the School for another WCED school. This certificate is used to remove the learner from the one school and to register the learner at the other school.

9.3.4. The CEMIS de-registration certificate is required when learners who previously left the WCED school system, wish to return and enrol at a WCED public school again.  The certificate therefore has to accompany the application form.

9.3.5. The WCED CEMIS replaces the manual admission register as required by National Policy. The School will ensure that a register or file is kept of all learners’ admission details, parental addresses, medical information, etc, as this information is not on the CEMIS system.  The School will also regularly update the information of learners.

9.3.6. The School may request a learner-profile of a learner from the previous school that the learner attended. The learner-profile will contain the latest learner information, assessment record and a record of the learner’s grade progressions.

10. ANNUAL ADMISSION TIME FRAMES

10.1. The admission process commences on the first day and ends on the last day prescribed by WCED.  The onus is placed on parents to familiarise themselves with the closing date for each year.

10.2. The school will communicate the commencement and end of the admission period via social media platforms and upon request by parents, provide any advocacy material made available by WCED.

10.3. The learner’s parents will receive notice by no later than the date determined each year by the WCED, whether the learner’s application was successful or not successful.

10.4. Only after the applications received by closing date have been dealt with, will the School consider late applications, and then only if there are still places available in the School.

10.5. WCED requires all parents to apply to a minimum of 3 schools.

10.6. The School will keep a proper register of all applications for admission.

11. DEFINITIONS

Parent

Definition of “parent” according to SA Schools Act 84 of 1996:

“Parent” means-

(a) the biological parent or adoptive parent or legal guardian of a learner;

(b) the person legally entitled to custody of a learner; or

(c) the person who undertakes to fulfil the obligations of a person referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) towards the learner’s education at school.

Sibling

A learner who satisfies all of the following requirements

(a) he or she is enrolled at the school in the year for which the applicant learner seeks admission

(b) he or she resides in the same household as the applicant learner; and

(c) he or she has at least one parent who is also the parent of the applicant learner

12.    RIGHT OF APPEAL

Any learner or parent of the learner who at the end of the application period has been refused admission to the School, may appeal in writing to the Member of Executive Council (known in the Western Cape as the Minister of the Western Cape Education Department) against the decision of the School.

Approved by the School Governing Body on 28 February 2024