Why You Need it
From a public schools perspective, one of the most concerning orders of the Supreme Court of Appeal in the landmark case of Head of Department Western Cape Education Department and Others v S (1209/2016) [2017] ZASCA 187 (13 December 2017), was that:

It is declared that in processing and dealing with the applicant’s applications for a fee exemption in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the school and its governing body subjected her to repeated violations of her constitutional and statutory rights.

This order should ring alarm bells with public schools and no school would want to find itself subject to such a court order.

So what is the solution to your school avoiding this situation?

We put this question to Brett Bentley, who is both CEO of Bentley Attorneys and Bentley Credit Control, a group of companies that have specialist departments dealing with both school fee collections and advising on legal compliance in this area.

“We have been offering training focusing on improving public school fee collections and dealing with exemptions for over a decade. With the South African Schools Act and the Exemption Regulations not being the clearest pieces of legislation, this training is vital. However, we still found that achieving full legal compliance and optimising internal fee collections were not being achieved in schools. For example we found, notwithstanding training – numerous instances where important terms and conditions were being left off admission documents, exemptions not being dealt with in the correct manner and other omissions. ”

Brett then went on to explain what is needed beyond training, “ The solution we feel is a legal audit to check public schools’ documentation, practice and procedures. This will enable schools to see where they may be falling short in their processes and ensure they have the correct documentation in place.”

What the Audit Entails?

Brett explained what the legal audits entail, “We are offering audits of public schools conducted by our team, including attorneys, which cover amongst their many aspects:

  • Reviewing all documents relating to school fees and exemptions including – admission documents, AGM minutes, exemption applications, S41(5) letters, letters of demand, exemption outcome letters
  • Reviewing internal collection procedures and processes
  • Auditing how exemptions are dealt with
  • Auditing various other aspects of the school fee collection and exemption process

From this we provide the school with a comprehensive and confidential report on our findings, opinion and suggestions for improvement and compliance.

Cost
On the issue of costs Brett advised, “ We understand that public schools are non-profit institutions that are vital to the future of our country and we have made our cost of audits incredibly cheap to help the schools. We are also offering our existing clients a further discount on the cost of the audit.

Contact Us
If you would like to take advantage of this great service you can contact Preshika Naidoo on 0315023550 / preshika@bentleylaw.co.za to find out more details.

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