REGARDING ABSENCE - LEARNERS

 

South African Schools Act No.84 of 1996 – Chapter 2:

  • 3. Compulsory attendance.—(1) Subject to this Act and any applicable provincial law, every parent must cause every learner for whom he or she is responsible to attend a school from the first school day of the year in which such learner reaches the age of seven years until the last school day of the year in which such learner reaches the age of fifteen years or the ninth grade, whichever occurs first
  • (6) Subject to this Act and any other applicable law—
    (a) any parent who, without just cause and after a written notice from the Head of
    Department, fails to comply with subsection (1), is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months; or
  • (b) any other person who, without just cause, prevents a learner who is subject to
    compulsory attendance from attending a school, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months.

AIM

 

  • Each child has the right to an education.  It is therefore the duty of the Education Department and the school to ensure that each registered learner receives what he or she is rightfully entitled to.
  • To impress upon learners respect and etiquette towards their superiors
  • To prepare them for the world outside.
  • To exercise control over absence.

 

DEFINITION

 

  • Compulsory school attendance is an integral part of the policy of the

      Education Department and is conducive to learning.

 

REASONS FOR POLICY

 

  • To check whether all learners are present.
  • To maintain continuity in the learning process
  • To show respect for other people’s time
  • To develop etiquette amongst learners to send word when he or she is absent from school
  • To monitor learners’ progress against their absence
  • To make the learning process easier

 

GROUNDS

 

  • Absence due to sickness
  • Absence due to appointments
  • Absence due to truancy
  • Absence due to some other reason (in writing by parent)

 

  1. A. SCHOOLS ACT

COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE (GOVERNMENT GAZETTE NO. 17579)

 

According to this law each PARENT should ensure that each LEARNER he or she is responsible for attends school from the first school day of the YEAR in which such learner reaches the age of SEVEN YEARS until the last school day in which such learner reaches the age of FIFTEEN YEARS or GRADE NINE, whichever happens first.

 

 

 

According to this law or any other applicable law:

  • Any parent who, without sufficient reason and after a written notice from the head of the department, fails to comply with this sub-section, is guilty of an offence and at conviction subject to a fine or a prison sentence of no more than six months.
  • Any other person who, without sufficient reason, withholds a learner who is subject to compulsory school attendance from attending school, is guilty of an offence and at conviction subject to a fine or prison sentence of no more than six months.

 

EXEMPTION FROM COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

 

  • Only the head of the education department can exempt a learner altogether, partially or conditionally from compulsory school attendance if it is in the best interest of the learner.
  • The head of the education department keeps a register of all learners who are exempt from compulsory school attendance.

 

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

 

  • Each registered learner of the school should ensure that he or she is at school every day.

 

ACTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION

ABSENCE:  ONE DAY

 

  • If a learner is absent for one day he or she should submit a letter from a parent or a medical certificate.
  • If he or she does not have a letter from a parent, form 1 should be completed by the parent.
  • Parents or guardians should inform the school at their earliest convenience that his or her child will not be at school.

 

ABSENCE:  TWO OR MORE DAYS

 

  • If a learner is absent for two or more consecutive days without notifying the school of his or her absence, the class educator should send a warning letter to the parent or guardian.
  • The warning letter is completed in duplicate:
    • one letter is sent to the parent
    • the other letter is kept in a file at the school by the head of the department responsible for the registers.
  • The class educator follows up all letters that are sent to parents.
  • The completed warning letter sent back by parents are placed in the learner’s file and a copy goes to the head of the department responsible for the registers.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

 

  • Each parent who registers a child at the school receives a copy of the policy which is included in the code of conduct.
  • The policy applies to all learners of the school.

 

EVALUATION INSTRUMENT

 

  • The effectivity of the policy is reviewed annually (by means of a questionnaire).
  • All educators should ensure that the policy is implemented correctly.
  • The responsible head of department and deputy head follows up on those who are absent chronically with their parents or guardians.

 

GENERAL

 

  • Absence of learners should be limited to the minimum.
  • Each case of absence should be followed up.
  • A medical certificate or a letter from the parent should accompany the learner at his or her return to school.
  • All letters or correspondence should be filed in the learner’s personal file.
  • The parent or guardian should at all times be acknowledged in the matter.
  • Please note that all absence should be followed up.