Changes for school calendars in South Africa

The Department of Basic Education has gazetted a new policy for determining school calendars in South Africa.

The policy document updates the last version published in 2015.

While the policy is largely unchanged, it adds a few new provisions and definition changes to allow the department to be more flexible with the calendars going forward.

This is specifically to codify the department and the minister’s powers to deviate from normal calendar determinations to account for unforeseen events.

The department was forced to make significant changes to school calendars in 2020, 2021 and 2022 to account for the national state of disaster in effect to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and various levels of lockdown.

In the new policy, a new clause specifies that: “On a good cause shown, the Minister may authorise deviation from the Policy in exceptional circumstances.”

A minor change in wording relates to when schools must close for the fourth term.

Previously, the policy stated that “the fourth school term must end during the second week of December. For learners, the last school day must be a Wednesday, while the last work day for educators must be the Friday of the same week.”

In the new policy, this is changed to:

“The fourth school term must end at the first full school week of December. Educators must close two (2) school days later after the closure of schools for learners.”

Another minor change updates the policy to keep abreast with developments in the digital space – specifically allowing the department to notify stakeholders of changes to calendars via social media channels and government websites.

Previously this was only done through government gazettes and newspapers. Newspapers are no longer listed as a notice channel.

Hi dear

Ek het gister vir julle die staatskoerant gestuur. Groete M