Western Cape Government: School Planning Calendar for 2015

Minister Debbie Schäfer

Western Cape Minister of Education

Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

This is true for many organisations or businesses that have been unsuccessful due to late planning or failure to plan at all.

Planning for the school year is not an easy task. It requires great deal of work and involves various structures within the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), including head office, the districts, principals, educators and school management teams. It also requires constant communication between the Department and schools about important dates and deadlines.

This allows schools to plan effectively for the next school year so that teaching and learning can take place from the first day of the school year.

This year, the WCED is again, ahead of schedule in terms of planning for the 2015 school year.

Last week, the WCED released its planning calendar for 2015, which includes a schedule of dates for training programmes, meetings, tests, examinations and administrative deadlines.

In 2015, teaching and learning will take place for 197 days – with the first school term beginning on the 21st of January and the last school day on the 9th of December 2015. Learners are expected to be at school for the full 197 days in accordance with the National Learner Attendance Policy, while educators are to be at school for 201 days of the year.

In 2015 the national School Governing Body (SGB) elections will be taking place. School Governing Bodies are essential partners in the combined effort in delivering quality education to the children of this province and it is therefore important that the WCED, as well as school communities, prepare well for the upcoming SGB elections, which are expected to take place in March 2015. Parents, especially those with skills in financial management and law, should now start to consider making themselves available for their respective bodies if they feel they can contribute positively to their school.

SGBs have huge responsibilities which they exercise on behalf of schools, including determining the admission policies of schools, the code of conduct for learners and the school budget.

In many schools, SGB’s are also in a position, on behalf of the school, to create additional posts and to employ additional staff.

Given these responsibilities, it is important that the WCED, as well as school communities, prepare well for these elections.

There are many other important dates in the Planning Calendar which can be seen in the attachment.

Schools have already been notified of their teacher allocation for 2015. This is well in advance of the of the National Department of Basic Education’s required completion date on the 30th of September each year.

By completing the process so early we have enabled schools to plan and budget accordingly for the 2015 school year.  Schools are also currently finalising their enrolments for 2015.  The closing date for enrolments is 26th September 2014.

I again appeal to parents that have yet to enrol their child to do so as soon as possible.

I would like to thank all our officials for their hard work in making this possible. It is now up to our educators and principals to ensure that they diarise these dates so that we can have a smooth 2015 school year.

I certainly look forward to my “first day of school” as Provincial Minister of Education on 21 January 2015.