The basis on which Resources Allocations are made to South African Public Ordinary Primary and Secondary Schools was established through the 1998 publication of the National Norms and Standards for Schools Funding (NNSSF). It was first implemented in 2000 by Provincial Education Department (PEDs), and represented a major innovation in South African school finding, both in terms of financing systems and pro-poor resourcing.
Section 34 (1) of the South African Schools Act requires that the State must fund public schools from Public Revenue on an equitable basis in order to ensure the proper exercise of the rights of the learners to Education and the redress of past inequalities in education provision.
The school allocation is intended to finance key inputs other than personnel and buildings in the education process. Key examples of inputs for which the schools allocation is intended are textbooks, stationary and non-educational items such as cleaning materials and electricity. Such inputs are necessary i educators and other personnel in schools are to perform their functions properly. The school allocation is therefore an important instrument supporting Government’s commitment to fulfilling the state’s Constitutional obligation to provide education.
The Education Laws Amendment Act(Act No. 24 of 2005) has since made and Amendment to section 35 of the South African Schools Act (Act No. 84 of 1996), whereby provision is now made for some schools serving the poorest communities in the country to be declared ‘no fee schools’. Parents of learners at such schools are exempted from the payment of compulsory school fees. His implies that no compulsory school fees would be charged in the poorest schools that receive an adequate school allocation from Government. ‘No fee schools’ are an integral part of Government strategty to alleviate the effects of poverty and redress the imbalances of the past. Part of the strategy is to ensure that the majority of the learners in the country exercise theri right to basic education as determined by the Constitution of the country (Act No. 108 of 1998).