In the past many undocumented children were refused admission to school simply because they could not produce the relevant documents. However, in 2019 a group of out-of-school children joined an ongoing court case where they asked the court to declare the Admissions Policy and Immigration Act unconstitutional as it violated their right to a basic education. They won.
The problem is: not all schools implement this, and in practice many children are still met with administrative roadblocks. It therefore becomes crucial that learners know their rights, so that they can access basic education.
You can download EELC’s resources for undocumented learners by clicking on the button below. This includes a useful pamphlet that breaks down your rights, as well as the origional circular that the government sent out regarding the 2019 court case.
Section27 has put together a Basic Education Rights Handbook that is avaliable for download. This handbook is a legal literacy tool that serves to empower communities, school governing bodies, principals, teachers and learners to understand education law and policy, to know when learners’ rights have been violated and what steps are required to protect learners’ rights.
Below is their chapter on admissions policy. Scroll to page 118 for information on the admission of undocumented learners or foreign nationals.