Trying to get children into school these days can be quite a harrowing experience especially if you are applying for Grade R & 1. Since I have quite a bit of experience on this subject, I thought I would give parents some tips.


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ADMISSIONS OPEN: 12 February 2018          ADMISSIONS CLOSE: 23 MARCH 2018


Please note that these tips are for public/government schools in the Western Cape. They are only MY tips and not hard and fast rules set out by any institution.

  1. Hand in documents before the closing date. – Although most schools do accept late applications, closing dates are there for a reason and schools are already under pressure during this time.
  2. Include all the supporting documents (and certify the documents!) – the schools require these for a reason and they do not purposefully put it there just because they want the whole process to be as stressful as possible for you. It is also important that you have all the documents as schools will not accept incomplete applications.  They will send you packing!
  3. Complete everything that is requested on the application form.  – Yes, you do have to fill in the Child’s ID number even if you did attach the birth certificate.
  4. The form has to be completed by both parents. You will have to provide some sort of legal proof if you cannot get both signatures (eg Death certificate if the 2nd parent is deceased or an affidavit if the mother/father is not part of the child’s life.
  5. Include a motivation letter – even though it is not a requirement at most schools, it is always good for the administrator/principal to read more information about your child as well as the reason why you would like your child to attend the school.
  6. Apply to at least 5 schools – Schools receive hundreds of applications for the few spaces that they can offer, apply to a couple of schools to ensure that you have a “backup” plan if your child is not accepted at your preferred school.
  7. If you are unsure about anything – phone the school and ask questions.  Not everyone on the other side of the phone is going to be helpful and friendly, especially if you are caller number 12022512356123451247899 for that day, but it is their job to answer all your questions.
  8. DO NOT PHONE THE SCHOOL EVERY DAY – to find out how far your application is or if it has been processed.  If you have not heard from them on the date that they said that they would notify you, give them a week’s grace, and only then do call them.  Phoning all the time is not going to guarantee a space for your child. (neither will threatening the principal or the secretary)
  9. You are welcome to contact the WCED should your child not have been accepted at any of the schools that you have applied for.
  10. To avoid stress, make sure that you complete the forms way before the deadline date, this also gives you enough time to gather all the documentation.

The application process can be very stressful, and for a lot of parents it is a new process, so I hope that my tips help!

Good luck!


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