Every now and again, one of SchoolAdvisor’s suppliers will share a pearl of a comment that we just can’t help but publish. This was the case when we chatted to Hennie van der Berg of Eduspec.

As we were chatting to him about conditional exemptions for schools and their unique exemption software solution, he said: “You should never give a full exemption because you are just gatvol.”

Q1: What is a conditional exemption?

A lot of schools know and have heard about a conditional exemption but don’t know how to really apply it in practice.

According to the SASA, both biological parents are responsible for paying school fees and, therefore, both need to apply for an exemption. 

Mostly single or divorced parents without contact with the other parent or where a parent refuses to apply will apply and qualify for a conditional exemption. If the other parent provides their salary, the exemption the result may change.

Once the conditional exemption is granted, the school can institute a procedure to locate the other parent. The school can then either raise the school fees, hand over an exemption application or start legal proceedings to recoup unpaid school fees.

Q2: Why is it so important for a school to understand the legalities of a conditional exemption?

The financial burden on schools is growing annually and it is of utmost importance to be as fair as possible towards parents. Parents, in return, need to be fair regarding their financial responsibility towards the school who needs to continue with a high standard of education.

Schools tend to miss or incorrectly interpret the situation because of a lack of knowledge of the Act and how to apply it. This makes it easy for a school staff member to become ‘gatvol’ and resort to giving a full exemption.

Q3: How does Eduspec solve conditional exemption issues for schools?

Eduspec offers 2 modules which can be used as either one program or two separate programs. Eduspec’s Exemption Program and Debt Management Tool are uniquely developed within the parameters of the South African Schools Act (SASA) governing the processes, making them simple and cost-effective while saving schools a lot of time.

The Eduspec Exemptions Program

This program allows schools to do your exemptions online. An application form is issued, submitted, processed and finalized with all letters and a complete record of progress and results. The program is developed to function within the parameters of the SA Schools Act and, therefore, protect the financial staff, Principal, and SGB. (The cost of the program depends on the number of Exemption Applications processed)

The Eduspec Debt Management Tool

Our Debt Management Tool is a pre-collection tool allowing schools to quickly follow up on your 30, 60 and 90-day arrears and does not replace your current Debt Collecting Agent. It also produces the Section 41 Final Demand Letters which you can hand over to your Debt Collecting Agent.

Eduspec, with its comprehensive set of application forms, unique processing and calculation module, alleviates the possibility of incorrect exemption results. Our Exemption Processing Program calculates all eventualities.

We also provide a unique payment schedule created from the age analysis which gives schools a full overview of the account and indicates the payment status. Our easy-to-use Sms and E-mail system with complete recordkeeping allows for fast and effective communication with account holders.

Q4: What are some of your exemption/outstanding fee stats? 

We have a full spectrum of clients, from Government and Private schools to Primary and High Schools which fall within the Quintile 4 and 5 brackets. Schools using Eduspec have recorded Applications for Exemptions in excess of R100 Million Rand and outstanding school fees of between 10% and 25% of Budget to date. The number of applications for Exemption per institution ranges from less than 1% to almost 47% of families.

Are you currently struggling with exemption application processing or debt management and would like to find out how Eduspec can help? Fill in your details below and a friendly member of the Eduspec team will be in touch.