A growing number of parents simply cannot afford to pay school fees in our tough economic climate. This puts a massive financial strain on fee-paying schools relying on the collection of fees to sustain their daily running costs.
Many of the schools in the Western Cape are classified as Quintile 4 and 5 schools (fee paying), which are supposed to be wealthy, but the reality is that they are attended by a large number of poorer learners. In some instances these schools should actually be classified as Quintile 1-3 schools (no-fee schools). The National Quintile system and concomitant funding does not allow this, which shows the flawed nature of this system.
To mitigate the effects of the quintile system, the WCED has this year made an increased amount of over R50 million available to assist Quintile 4 and 5 schools who are struggling to collect school fees from parents.
There are currently 574 public ordinary fee paying schools in the Western Cape. This year the WCED has paid out fee compensation to 554 of these schools. This means that the WCED is assisting 96.5% of fee paying schools. Compensation for school fee exemptions is made available retrospectively for the previous school year, e.g. compensation paid in 2017 is for exemptions granted in the 2016 school year.