Home Schooling is recognised as a legitimate education alternative and protected by the Constitution of South Africa

"The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only. The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations."

Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
American Supreme Court

Pestalozzi Legal Defence Trust

South African Schools Act, 1996
Chapter 5 : Independent Schools
51. Registration of learner for education at home

1)        A parent MAY apply to the Head of Department for the registration of a learner to receive education at the learner's home.

2)        The Head of Department must register a learner as contemplated in subsection (1) if he or she is satisfied that

a)        the registration is in the interests of the learner;

b)        the education likely to be received by the learner at home

i)          will meet the minimum requirements of the curriculum at public schools; and

ii)         will be of a standard not inferior to the standard of education provided at public schools; and

c)        the parent will comply with any other reasonable conditions set by the Head of Department.

3)        The Head of Department may, subject to subsection (4), withdraw the registration referred to in subsection (1).

4)        The Head of Department may not withdraw the registration until he or she

a)        has informed the parent of his or her intention so to act and the reasons therefor;

b)        has granted the parent an opportunity to make representations to him or her in relation to such action; and

c)        has duly considered any such representations received.

5)        A parent may appeal to the Member of the Executive Council against the withdrawal of a registration or a refusal to register a learner in terms of this Act.

To view the Registration Policy published in 1999 click here




All parents have the right to choose home education for their children. The Pestalozzi Trust Legal Defence Fund for Home Education is committed to advocating the fundamental elements of this right: religious freedom; the right of parents to educate their children according to their own convictions; and the right of children to be cared for by their parents without interference with their privacy and their family.

They are prepared to represent their member families every step of the way - from consultation to correspondence and negotiation with local officials, and in court proceedings all the way through the appellate courts. The Trust will pay all litigation costs for home school cases it undertakes.

Since home education became legal in South Africa, those families who attempted to act within the law are the ones who have experienced most problems from government officials. The main reason being that most officials responsible for home education do not know the law that they are required to apply, and that they have no knowledge of home education either. For this reason, home educators are consistently forced to ask the courts to defend their rights against unlawful actions by education and other officials. The Trust can assist you in carefully planning and establishing your home school in a way that can be well defended against challenges by government officials.

To become a member phone (012) 330 1337
PO Box 12332, Queenswood, PRETORIA, 0121, RSA
e-mail defensor@pestalozzi.org

Pestalozzi Legal Defence Trust