5 tips to help you navigate the school application process

With the deadline fast approaching to enrol Grade 1 or Grade 8 scholars into schools in Gauteng for the 2024 academic year, there is help for parents who may be intimidated by the online application process.

Mohlago Ndebele, service team lead at SPARK Schools, offers some suggestions and tips to guide parents and guardians through the process.

“You cannot delay your application until the end of the year to secure a spot for your child in the school of your choice. Gauteng has hundreds of thousands of parents applying for schools, especially for Grade 1. The application process may feel daunting, but if parents and guardians do a little homework and preparation, the process should go much smoother,” she says.

Application tips and suggestions:

Check the school website: Set some time aside to go through the application process of the school of your choice to understand what you will need to ensure your application is successful. Look at the documents required and ensure you have them all. If you need clarification on the documents, call the school’s enrolment team to assist you with the list of documents. Most schools require the following documents: birth certificate of the child; proof of residence of parent; immunisation card (Grade 1); latest report card; parent or guardian ID.

Pay attention to the details: Check the details before proceeding with the application; for example, ensure you choose the correct grade and add the proper age on the application. It’s well worth it to read the form carefully and then double-check when you are done.

Don’t assume anything: Submit the required documents and make payment to ensure the space is secured. Also, having a sibling at the school does not ensure automatic enrolment for a younger child. You still have to apply for a position, so do not delay the application or you may have to find a new school for the younger sibling.

Follow up: Once you’ve applied, call the school or its enrolment office to check on progress. Checking your application is essential to know if anything is missing or if there are any issues that may delay your application.

Visit the school: Whether your application is complete or not, visit the school. This is a great way to learn about the school values and the environment your child will learn from. You can also ensure the school fits your child correctly.

“The application process may seem intimidating; however, it doesn’t need to be. With these easy steps, your child will be enrolled in no time,” says Ndebele.

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