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The Legalities

when homeschooling in South Africa.

I want to homeschool. What are my rights?

Under South Africa's constitution, you have the right to educate your child at home without presenting any qualifications.


This means you don't need to ask anyone's permission to get on the homeschool journey if you feel it's the best thing for your children.

Do I have a choice of which curricula I use to teach my children?

Absolutely! According to the constitution of South Africa, which must also take into account international law, parents/legal guardians have the ultimate say when it comes to whether or not they teach their children at home and what curricula choices they make in the best interests of the children they are legally responsible for.

The media also sometimes mentions that parents must submit the curriculum that they plan to follow. This implies that department of education should approve the curriculum. This requirement is not present in the Constitution nor the Schools Act and furthermore, a recent judgement in the Pretoria High Court also confirmed this. On 25 March 2012, Judge Cynthia Pretorius ruled that the state curriculum is not binding on independent schools and parents who educate their children at home.

The quote above comes from an excellent article that digs deeper into this topic. You can read the full article, called "Homeschooling and the law", on We recommend your read this to get a better foundational understanding of your rights, so you know where you stand in the event you are confronted by anyone trying to take control away from you as the parent or legal guardian.

Read the full article here

Where to from here?

If you are keen to get on the road to homeschooling, that's great! There are a couple different ways to approach this from a legal standpoint:

  1. Register your child or children with the South African Department of Basic Education (DBE).
  2. Register instead with a legal protection fund (such as The Pestalozzi Trust) and not with the DBE.
  3. Register with both the DBE and an organization like The Pestalozzi Trust.

Though you'll likely lean toward either "1" or "2", each has seen people follow its path, as they felt it was the best for their situation. It's vital that you do your own research to find the way you feel most comfortable with, and we are here to assist in making it easier for you to come to a confident conclusion.

Learn more about the pestalozzi trust Learn more about the national DBE