SASA – Chapter 5 (INDEPENDANT SCHOOLS) Regulation 45A – Admission age to independent school

45A. Admission age to independent school

(a) The admission age of a learner to an independent school to—

(i) grade R is age four turning five by 30 June in the year of admission;

(ii) grade 1 is age five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission.

(b) An independent school may admit a learner who—

(i) is under the age contemplated in paragraph (a) if good cause is shown; and

(ii) complies with the criteria contemplated in paragraph (c).

(c) The Minister may, by regulation, prescribe—

(i) criteria 2 for the admission to an independent school at an age lower than the admission age of an underage learner who complies with the criteria;

(ii) age requirements for different grades at an independent school.

(d) For the purpose of paragraph (b) (i), good cause shown means that—

(i) it can be shown that exceptional circumstances exist which necessitate the admission of an underage learner because admission would be in his or her best
interest; and

(ii) the refusal to admit that learner would be severely detrimental to his or her development.”.


It is acknowledged that criteria for admission of an underage learner are complex and take some considerable time to develop. The criteria must be reliable, effective and their proper implementation will require the training of evaluators. The criteria must be based on an educationally sound basis in order to ensure that—

(a) learners are admitted on an equitable basis;

(b) there is no unfair discrimination to learners;

(c) the admission is fair to the individual learner as well as other learners in the classroom;

(d) recognition is given to the diversity of language, culture and economic background;

(e) notice is taken of the differences between urban and rural environments; and

(f) the physical, psychological and mental development of the child are taken into account.