Do you qualify for a school fees exemption?


If you are able to afford school fees, the responsible thing to do is to make sure you pay them. The state allowance for exemption from school fees should not be abused. Bear in mind that if you do this, your child’s school and ultimately, your child, will be the poorer. The law says you can qualify for a total or partial exemption from school fees:

  • Where the breadwinner’s annual salary is less than ten times the amount of the school fee. So, for example, if a parent is a domestic worker who earns R800 per month then she will earn R9 600 per year. If the school fees are R1 000 per year, then ten times the school fees is R10 000, this is more than the domestic worker earns in a year. She is therefore entitled to an exemption or a reduction in fees.
  • Where the combined income of the mother and father is less than 30 times the annual school fee. For example, if the joint income of the mother and father is R1 500 per month and the annual school fee is R700 per year: 12 x R1 500 = R 18 000 per year and 30 x the school fees of R700 = R 21 000. Because their total income is less than 30 x the fees they will qualify for a partial reduction of fees.

To apply for a reduction in fees, you must do the following:

  • Write a letter to the School Governing Body requesting to be exempted in part or totally from fees.
  • Provide a pay slip or letter from your employer explaining how much you earn.
  • If you are unemployed or self employed, you will need an affidavit stating what you earn or how you support your child, for example, on a pension or a child care grant.


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