School admission case heads to ConCourt

The Constitutional Court now has to settle a dispute between the GDE and Rivonia Primary School.

Rivonia Primary principal Carol Drysdale speaks to her lawyers during a disciplinary hearing on 11 September 2012. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court was asked on Wednesday to settle a disciplinary stalemate between the Gauteng Department of Education and the principal of Rivonia Primary School.

In 2010, principal Carol Drysdale refused to admit a grade one pupil because she the school was full.

The matter has now led to a Constitutional Court battle over admissions to be heard in May.

The case will pit quality of education against a child's right to education.

The department hauled Drysdale before a disciplinary hearing during which she eventually pleaded guilty.

She was handed a final warning and a fine amounting to a month's salary.

But the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) later found the department's intervention was unlawful.

The SCA called on the department to be "sufficiently gracious and withdraw these sanction".

This did not happen and the school's governing body asked the Constitutional Court to settle the matter.

The governing body said the department failed dismally in providing quality education.

The department argued the latest judgment ignored the legacy of apartheid.