‘Unregistered’ private school in Pretoria allegedly operating illegally

Northridge Academy, a private school in Pretoria North. Image: Facebook

Northridge Academy is not registered with the education department or SA’s independent schools’ association, and damning allegations point to further ‘illegalities’.

The community of Pretoria North have been left livid after allegations that a private school in the area was operating illegally. This came to light thanks to a Facebook page, reports Pretoria North Rekord.

According to the department of education’s records, Northridge Academy is not registered, and there is a possibility that it is being run illegally, said the department’s spokesperson Steve Mabona.

Amy Barr-Sander from the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa) confirmed that the school is also not registered with them.

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“We have nothing to hide,” said the principal of Northridge Academy Simone Fourie.

“We are not an illegal school, and are registered with Impaq.”

Impaq provides home-schooling curriculums and educational products from Grade R to matric in English and Afrikaans.

Impaq spokesperson Nico Jacobs confirmed that Northridge is registered with them as a “study centre”, and not as a school.

Although Jacobs confirmed that Northridge ran as a study centre, he could only find three pupils on the system – two matric candidates and one pupil in Grade 11.

Fourie explained that parents of the children in her centre had the option to register their children with Impaq, or to do this through Northridge.

Another allegation on Facebook was that Northridge had a second “illegal” school, also run by Fourie.

It is alleged that Fourie is involved in the running of Credo Deo Academy, which was closed by the department of basic education in 2014, after it was found that the school was being run illegally.

Fourie denied these allegations as well.

“That is completely untrue,” she said. She did not want to expand on the allegation.

Yet another allegation on Facebook alleges that Fourie owed the person who ran Northridge Academy’s tuckshop “thousands of rands”.

Fourie said she would be obtaining an interdict, and would be laying a charge of harassment against the man who posted the allegations on Facebook.

She also indicated that she would take on a case of defamation against him in court.

This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder.

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