Background: In a Facebook post on Monday (17.01.2022), the Trust reported that parents who attempted to register their children for home education have been refused registration. In December, this problem was centred in KwaZulu-Natal, although the problem appears to be spreading to other provinces as well. These refusals related at first to learners who are studying at home, using online (virtual) schools. However, now we are hearing that even those using tutors at home are being refused. This needs to be confirmed but we are concerned that this may be happening.

Why this is serious

Parents who were refused registration could be forced to put their children back into school or face prosecution. It is therefore imperative to fight these refusals to protect the learners’ rights. A refusal must be appealed within 14 days after the refusal letter has been issued, which means it is a time- sensitive issue. Parents simply cannot wait around before taking action!

Officials must not be allowed to implement the policy rigidly as it is not a law. In addition, it seems that in this instance officials are applying the policy inconsistently (some of the affected families have been registered previously) and inflexibly. If officials now interpret the law and policy in this way, not only will it impact the affected families, but it will make it harder to challenge when an official decides that some aspect of your home education is no longer acceptable. 

What we have done

Since we last communicated via Facebook PT members have received letters of refusal. Our legal team was briefed on Tuesday and action was initiated on cases of members who have received a refusal.

The legal team instructed that affected home schoolers must be guided by the legal team from the start and in all aspects of this matter, even with the internal appeals. This will ensure that their case will not be affected by technicalities if it has to go to court.

What you need to do

  • Urgent: Refused Registration – Contact the Trust

Members and non-members who have tried to register for home education with their Provincial Education Department and have been refused, are urged to contact the Trust immediately. The importance of swift action in this case cannot be over-stated. Remember that you only have 14 days to lodge an appeal, and that it is important that the appeal is handled correctly from the start.2.

  • Registering? Contact the Trust First

This incident illustrates the unfortunate reality that registration for home education is not a predictable administrative procedure such as the registration of a birth, but instead increases the probability of families getting into a conflict situation with authorities. If you plan to register in the future, we urge you to contact the Trust before attempting your registration. We can support you to minimize the possibility of your application being refused, and should your application be refused, set you up for the best possible chance of winning an appeal. Please also encourage other people to join the Trust before attempting their registration.

  • Don’t change what you are doingAttend meeting for further information

The Trust is being inundated with calls from concerned home schoolers, some of whom are wanting to change how they are home schooling. We urge you to not change anything that you are doing and that has been working for as long as you have been home educating.  The Constitution recognises that your child’s best interests are paramount, and not the inconsistent and inflexible wishes of officials that seem to understand neither home education nor the law on home education.

Trust members are invited to a meeting on the 26 January 2022Register immediately by going to this link. The booking systems has a facility for asking your questions. This meeting is likely to be full with many wanting to ask questions. Priority will be given to the questions asked via the booking platform.

The unpredictable outcome when registering  for home education, is a result of officials understanding neither home education nor the law on home education,  combined with an irrational policy on home education. This is why the Pestalozzi Trust have been using all opportunities to propose a predictable and cogent registration process, and are continuing to do so.

[This is a shortened version of the News Nugget sent to members. We urge members to read full nugget for more information]


  1. Good day.
    I have been to all our education departments, and spoken face to face with numerous people, all refused for me to register my child as a homeschooling student.
    I have the people’s names, contact numbers, and email addresses.
    I emailed my Home Education forms in today knowing they refused me on 17/01/2023.
    I’d been running in circles until I saw the Pestalozzi Trust online.
    I have a daycare for which many parents have asked me to Tutor their kids for Grades 1 onwards and I have declined because this is not allowed according to Education Department.
    I would like to join the Pestalozzi Trust to assist me with this nightmare.
    I am ecstatic to know I am not alone in this.

  2. Hi,

    I’ve had an issue with the KXN DOE since last year and I applied twice. I went all the way to reach out to the Head of Department for the Home Education and they went with what the KZN Home Education had advised them. I was so distraught. The refusal was because I was making use of a free curriculum that was available to me online. I ended up paying for Home Education through Impaq and that did not carry any weight with the KZN DOE. I have been homeschooling my son since he was in Grade 8 and during the lockdown in 2020. Why all of these changes in 2022, I really don’t know but the safety of my child is important. I felt like I was being forced to put my child back in school. I tried schools close by because I felt like I had no choice and the schools refused because they only take on students from Grade 8. Based on that I contacted the KZN DOE again in 5th September 2022 and to this day, I’ve received no response from them. What can I do about this? I have a right as a parent to home school my child. I still continued to educate my child at home for his Grade 9 because I could not get him into a school. Any good valuable advice would do right now. I’m trying to make contact with the KZN DOE again but I don’t know how to approach them.


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