The Gauteng Education Department(GDE) is mandated to make sure all learners in the province have access to learning opportunities of good quality. If you are a parent, it is necessary to understand how to make this happen for your child.
Gauteng parents of learners in preschool and Grade 7 must contend with the GDE online application process to ensure their children are accepted into one of their preferred schools. Although this system was launched in 2016 to combat a system that left many children without placement in a primary, secondary, or high school by the start of the school year, parents are still unaware of how it works.
Thankfully this guide detailing how to complete your application and providing answers to the many frequently asked questions should help you navigate this annual affair.
What Are GDE Admissions?
The Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) has an enrolment system parents have to follow for learners who will be entering Grade 1 or Grade 8 in the following school year. The system is primarily electronic and requires parents to submit applications for their children to 5 schools within Gauteng. Parents or guardians who fail to use the system will be disappointed to learn that their child won’t be placed in a school within the province, as late applicants are often rejected or placed at schools that still have places, typically the school’s other parents have avoided.
GDE Admission– Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for GDE Admission
Since the process is still confusing for many parents, this step-by-step guide detailing the online application process should help you navigate the system and get your child enrolled in one of your preferred schools.
Step 1: Visit the GDE Online Registration Portal
To start the process, visit the GDE online registration portal, which you can do by following this link: https://www.gdeadmissions.gov.za/.
Once on the home page, you can either register or log in, depending on whether you’ve used the system before.
If this is your first time using the system, click on the button that says “Registration.” Clicking on the button will redirect you to a POPIA Disclaimer that requires you to consent to the Department processing the personal information you provide.
Read the disclaimer and select the box beside “I have read and understand the content of the disclaimer.”
Now you can select “continue.”
Note: If you’ve created an account before, navigate to the top-right section of the screen and select “login,” and use your login credentials to continue your submission or accept submission to a school.
Step 2: Create an Account
Once you’re on the signup page, you’ll have to select if you’re a guardian or a parent and if you’re a South African citizen.
Enter Your ID Number
After that, you’ll need to enter your ID number.
A pop-up will appear, requiring you to enter all the consonants in your name and surname. (The letters excluding A, E, I, O, U.)
If your ID number can be validated by Home Affairs, the system will populate some of your details, including your name, surname, and date of birth. You will need to enter details like your gender and any fields marked with a red asterisk that remain blank.
If your ID number cannot be validated, you will need to fill in your details.
Enter Your Phone Number and Password
Now enter your phone number.
Your phone number is a crucial step in the process as it ensures you receive all communication from the Gauteng Department of Education.
You will also be required to enter a password, which should include an uppercase and lowercase letter in addition to a number and special character.
Note: Be sure to keep your password safe, as you will need to use it again to log in.
Before you can continue, you will receive a one-time pin to the cellphone number you entered; enter the OTP, followed by “continue.”
Now, select “next,” a pop-up will appear with the terms and conditions, select “Accept Terms and Conditions,” and click “OK.”
You will then be allowed to move to the next step.
Step 3: Enter Your Home Address
Enter your home address and select the correct one from a list of addresses in a drop-down menu. If your home address is correct, you can move on to entering your work address.
If your address does not appear on the list of drop-down addresses, select “can’t find your home address? Click here.”
Now, you’ll be able to navigate to your home address by placing a pin on a map of where your home is.
If you’re using a phone from your home, simply select “Use my Location” and verify that the address entered is correct.
Once you’re satisfied with where the pin is, click “Select Location,” a pop-up will appear with the address location; if it is the correct address, select “Confirm.”
If you want to apply to a school close to your work address, follow the same steps as outlined above, but use your work address as the location.
When you’re satisfied with the information, select “Submit,” you will then receive an SMS confirming your username and password.
Step 4: Complete Learner Registration
Now is the time to complete learner registration.
To do this, you’ll have to enter the learner’s ID number.
After you enter the ID number, a pop-up requiring you to enter every consonant in the learner’s name will appear.
Next, enter the learner’s date of birth, first name, surname, race, gender, home language and language of learning.
You will also need to enter the learner’s current school if the learner is entering Grade 8.
Be sure you enter every field with a red asterisk beside it, as these sections can’t be left blank.
If all the information is accurate, you can select “Apply to Schools.”
Step 5: Upload Documents
To simplify applying to schools, you can use this next step to upload the documents you will need to apply to schools.
After you’ve selected “Apply to Schools”, the next screen will show you your details and the documents you’ve uploaded.
Since you haven’t uploaded any documents yet, you can use this time to add information to accelerate the application process.
Ensure that you upload each document of the required documents separately, that they’re in PDF format and under 2MB each.
Proof of Home Address
This can be a utility bill, retail bill, cellphone contract, bank statement, a letter from your ward councillor, or an affidavit. Ensure the document you’re using is not older than three months.
Proof of Work Address
You can ask your employer for certified proof of your work address or use a recent employment contract, payslip, or other acceptable proof to show where you work.
Certified Copy of ID Document
If you have a smart ID, ensure that the attachment has both the front and back of the document.
Once you’ve uploaded these documents scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Apply.”
Step 6: Apply to Schools
When applying to schools, you can select schools within one of the six categories listed. These are listed in order of priority, meaning your child’s placement at a school will be prioritized according to the type of application you’re completing.
When you’re on the page to apply to schools, you will notice a box with the heading application options select the type of application you want to complete from one of the six categories:
Home Address Within the School Feeder Zone
Your child will be given preferred placement at schools within your feeder zone.
When you select to apply to schools within your home’s feeder zone, the system will give you a drop-down list of schools you can apply to based on the information you inserted in Step 3.
You can select a maximum of three schools in this category.
A sibling or Previous School
Using this option, you can apply to a maximum of two schools in the previous school category and one school for the sibling category.
“Previous School” only applies to learners currently in Grade 7. Using this option, you can select a maximum of two schools that fall into the feeder zone of the school your child is currently attending.
The “sibling school” option is available to enable your child to attend a primary or high school that their sibling is attending. Remember that you can’t use the sibling category if the learner’s sibling is currently in Grade 7 or 12 in that school.
Work Address Within the School Feeder Zone
The Work Address option allows you to select one school within the feeder zone of the work address you’ve entered. If you haven’t selected a work address, you won’t be able to apply to a school within this option.
Home Address Within a 30km Radius
If there is placement at a school outside of your feeder zone, your child’s placement won’t be a top priority. However, you can select this option to apply to one school within 30km of your home.
Instead of receiving a drop-down menu of schools, you can search for the school you want to send an application to.
Home Address Beyond a 30km Radius
If the school you want to apply to is beyond 30km from your home, you’ll use this option. Here you can only apply to one option.
Your child’s placement at this school won’t be prioritized.
Schools of Specialization
If you want to apply to a school of specialization, you can only apply to one.
Before you can complete an application for a school of specialization, you will be required to answer four screening questions to determine if your child is a good fit for the school.
Additionally, your child will need to pass an admission test, audition, or sporting trial before being accepted to the school.
After selecting the school/s you’re applying to, you can select “Submit.”
A thank-you page will pop up that includes the learner’s reference number, which will also be sent to your phone. This number does not mean your child has been placed at the school.
The pop-up will also allow you to upload supporting documentation to be used in the application.
Step 7: Upload Supporting Documentation for the Learner’s Application
If you didn’t upload your supporting documents in step 5, you have an opportunity to do it again here.
However, if you did upload this information, you can scroll to the option to upload the learner’s supporting document.
Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
Ensure you have a PDF version of the certified copy of your child’s birth certificate.
Since you’re applying for the school in July or August, the latest report will be the one for June.
Remember, these documents must be uploaded or submitted within seven days of the application, and the document status will only reflect after the school has received and verified the documents.
Note: If you cannot upload documents during this step, you can hand deliver the documents to the school.
You should also be aware that if you change your details — like home address, work address, ID number, etc., after applying, all information will be deleted, and you will have to start the process again.
Step 8: Accept Placement at a School
Once your applications have been successfully submitted — be sure to check on them before registration closes on 12 August 2023 — you will receive placement messages between 3 October 2023 and 30 November 2023.
When you receive a placement message, you have seven days to visit the GDE admissions portal and accept an offer. On your dashboard, you will see the offer. Clicking “Accept” will reserve your child’s placement at the school.
Note: Once you accept an offer, placement at the school will be reserved, provided you don’t accept another offer from a different school. If you accept another offer, you will lose space at the first school.
Frequently Asked Questions About GDE Admissions
If your question isn’t answered in one of the frequently asked questions listed below, you can visit the GDE Admission’s portal FAQ page by using this link: https://www.gdeadmissions.gov.za/faqs/.
How Do I Check My GDE Application Status?
To check your GDE status, log in to the online portal. Once on the portal, navigate to login and enter the login credentials you created when applying to schools. You should be able to see which schools you’ve applied to and see if your documents have been attached correctly.
Is GDE Registration 2024 Open?
GDE registration for 2024 opens at 08:00 on 22 July 2023.
GDE Admissions Registration Fee
There is no registration fee to complete the GDE admission process.
GDE Admission Registration Dates
Registration for the GDE admissions for learners entering grades 1 and 8 in 2024 will start at 08:00 on 22 July 2023 and end at midnight on 12 August 2023.
GDE Admission Requirement
To use the GDE Admission portal, your child must be entering either Grade 1 or Grade 8 in a Gauteng school.
For South African citizens, these documents include:
- The birth certificate of the child
- The ID or passport of the parents or Guardian
- Proof of the Home or work or address of the parents
- A clinic card for grade one learners and
- A recent grade seven report card for grade eight applicants.
For non-South African citizens, the following documents will be required:
- Study permit and passport of parent.
- Work permit and passport of parent
- Refugee permit of parent
- Asylum seeker permit of parent
- Proof of Home and work or address
- A Clinic card for grade one application
- And the most recent grade seven report cart for Grade 8 eight applications.
Parents awaiting a birth certificate must have obtained a temporary certificate from the Department of Home affairs.
GDE Admission Portal Access
To access the GDE admission portal, use this link: https://www.gdeadmissions.gov.za/.
I Do Not Have Any Documents. Can I Still Apply?
If you do not have digitised documents, you can still apply using the online portal, but you will have to hand-deliver the documents to the school within seven days of your application.
During these seven days, ensure you acquire every document you need to complete the application and have ALL your documents certified.
Can I Apply For More Than One Learner?
Yes. When you’re done submitting applications for one learner, a pop-up will appear, allowing you to enter the details of another learner. This is the time to apply for another child.
Parents may apply for three of their children to attend grade one and three to attend grade eight. You cannot apply online if a child has to repeat the grade.
How Do I Ensure That My Child Finds a School?
There are several tips to ensure your child finds a school using the GDE admissions process. These include:
- Apply During the Registration Dates
Be sure you’ve submitted every application for the 2024 intake by midnight on 12 August 2023.
- Select Schools in Order of Importance
Ensure you have selected at least one school within your home’s feeder zone, as this is where your child’s placement will be prioritized.
- Respond Quickly to News of Placement
During 3 October 2023 and 30 November 2023, the GDE will send out SMSes with offers to schools where your child has been accepted. Accept placement at these schools within seven days to guarantee placement.
GDE Applications to Schools of Specialisation
The GDE Application process only allows you to apply for one school of specialisation. Your child will also need to meet entry requirements before a placement offer can be made, so be sure to check your messages and your portal with the next steps.
What is The Waiting Period, and What to Expect After The Application?
Your child will be offered placement in a school between 3 October 2023 and 30 November 2023.
When your child is offered placement, to guarantee your child’s space will be reserved at the school, you have seven days to accept the offer. If you fail to accept the offer in this timeframe, your child will lose the offer.
You can get more than one offer during the placement dates. But remember, every time you accept an offer, your child loses placement at whichever school you accepted an offer to before.
What Is The Maximum Number Of Schools One Person Is Allowed To Apply To?
You can apply to a maximum of five schools per learner.
You can decide how to divide these applications among the six categories.
Can I apply to schools in another province?
You may not apply to schools in provinces other than your own.
Can I apply for a neighbour child?
If you apply for a neighbour or family member’s child, you must not use your profile. Instead, register the details of the parents.
Can You Apply to Schools In-Person Using GDE Admission?
Suppose you are unable to use the GDE admission portal online. In that case, you can complete in-person applications using one of the Gauteng Department of Education’s 47 walk-in centres that will be available from 08:00 to 16:00 on Mondays to Fridays. To find out where these are located, call the Gauteng Department of Education on 0800 000 789 or 011 355 0000 or email email@example.com.
Remember, you can only use the walk-in centres during the registration period.