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South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No 84 of 1996)

National Norms and Standards for School Funding (NNSSF)

Part 1

1. Introduction




This document


1) This document sets out the national norms and standards for school funding in terms of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (No. 84 of 1996). It also deals with the procedures to be adopted by Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) in determining resource allocations to their schools. These norms replace any previous school funding norms issued in terms of Section 35 of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (No. 84 of 1996).


2) These norms and standards are based on the original norms and standards published in 1998 (Notice 2362 of 1998). They include amendments introduced in 2003 (Notice 20 of 2003) and amendments made in 2006 following the publication of proposals for public comment (Notice 1357 of 2004).


3) These norms and standards deal with-
a) the public funding of public schools, in terms of Section 35 of the Act.
b) the exemption of parents who are unable to pay school fees, in terms of Section 39(4) of the Act.
c) Public subsidies to independent schools in terms of Section 48(1) of the Act.


4) The funding policy relating to learners with special educational needs will be prepared in accordance with Education White Paper 6: Special Needs Education.


5) The Department of Education (DOE) prepared this document after consultation with the Sub-Committee on Finance of the Heads of Education Departments Committee (HEDCOM). The Sub-Committee includes representatives of the DOE and PEDs, the National Treasury and the national educator organisations.




6) In this document-
a) unless the context indicates otherwise, any expression to which a meaning has been assigned in the South African Schools Act, 1996 (No. 84 of 1996), has that meaning;
b) "Regulations" means the Exemption of Parents from the Payment of School Fees Regulations, determined in terms of Section 39 of the Act;
c) "the Act" means the South African Schools Act, 1996 (No. 84 of 1996).


Application of the norms


7) The norms and standards in this document apply uniformly in all provinces, and are intended to prevail in terms of Section 146(2) of the Constitution.


When the norms come into effect


8) These norms become national policy on 1 January 2007.


9) Some norms will apply to the public school financial year (January to December) and others to the state financial year (April to March).


10) Pre-conditions for full and efficient implementation of the norms are described later in this document, with suggestions for a sequence of activities that would enable PEDs to prepare themselves to put the norms into effect.


Monitoring of implementation


11) The Department of Education is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the norms in terms of Section 8 of the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (No. 27 of 1996). The DOE is required to undertake its monitoring and evaluation role

"in a reasonable manner, with a view to enhancing professional capacities in monitoring and evaluation throughout the national education system, and assisting the competent authorities by all practical means within the limits of available public resources to raise the standards of education provision and performance." (Section 8(4))

For purposes of monitoring the DOE will determine reporting formats in consultation with PEDs.


12) Each Head of Department will be expected to verify that the national norms are being complied with in allocating funds, or that acceptable alternatives are being implemented after consultation with the DOE. PEDs must use, for this purpose, systems and software tools that have been made available by the DOE or alternative methods that will produce reports required by the DOE. If the PED is unable to comply with the norms because of a lack of expertise or for any other reason, the DOE must be informed without undue delay, so that the problem can be examined and remedies sought.