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International and Private Schools in South Africa

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You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in South Africa with fee information. It includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools and you will find the right school to prepare for International Baccalaureate, and other diploma in South Africa. Some schools will follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programs while others are regulated under the French or German education system.

Education in South Africa

South Africa has a 3 tier system: General Education and Training, Further Education and Training, and Higher Education and Training. Education typically spans 13 years with mandatory courses running from grade 0 to grade 9. Grade 0 or first year is often called "Reception Year" or "Grade R" and is not compulsory. Further Education and Training runs from grade 10 to grade 12 and includes career-oriented education. Diplomas and certificates are qualifications recognized at this level. The literacy rate is around 88 percent.

South African public schools (called government schools) vary widely in quality. There are some excellent government schools with high academic standards but they typically do not cater to expat children.

Reforms in education have led to great advances in education in South Africa. New technology has been introduction the disadvantaged schools, wider access, and a national initiative creating "FOCUS" schools have all sought to improve the system. FOCUS schools specialize in specific curriculum areas (Business & Commerce, Engineering, Arts & Culture) and are similar to the UK specialist schools programme.

International & Private Schools

A large number of expat children are enrolled in one of South Africa's international schools. While these schools are open to any student, their school fees are typically high and therefore less affordable to most local families who or not on an international assignment, meaning the student body is typically highly international. Their curriculum is modeled on the home country and offers an excellent preparation to pursue higher education in that country or elsewhere, depending on which examinations are offered like the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Cambridge International Examinations IGCSE, and O- and A-levels. If not specifically mentioned, their school year follows that of the home country.

South African private schools are an excellent alternative for expat families, especially if you're looking for a more affordable option to give your kids a good education, as well as exposing them to the local culture. Many South African children attend a monastic (single-sex) boarding school for grades 8-12, with typically high academic standards and a strong focus on tradition, discipline, and sports.

Admission and enrollment procedures vary from school to school, but space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality in the case of international schools. It is therefore advisable to start your school search early to secure a spot.

Accreditation & Associations

The Council of International Schools (CIS) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools. The Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) aims to promote communication and professional development in international schools on the African continent.

While many private schools have religious origins they are mostly nondenominational in their teachings; the large majority is registered with the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA), the largest association of independent (private) schools in South Africa. ISASA schools typically follow a three-term calendar with month-long breaks in April, August, and December with grade 12 students writing the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) Matric Examinations.

Johannesburg/Pretoria

American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ)
Address: Private Bag X4
Bryanston 2021, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 464 1505
Tuition Rates: 128,000-223,000 ZAR per year

AISJ has its main campus at the Northern outskirts of Johannesburg, between Fourways and Diesploot, and a smaller campus in Pretoria. It has a very international student body and an International Baccalaureate (IB) track is available to High School students. All instruction is in English. A door-to-door bus service is available to most suburbs in the vicinity at an additional cost.

Beaulieu College
Address: 107 Maple Road
Kyalami 1684 Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 468 2114
Tuition Rates: 71,815-74,417 ZAR per year

Beaulieu is a co-ed school that has its campus in the Kyalami area, nestled into a residential area. Equine Studies offered as high school subject.

Brescia House School
Address: 14 Sloane Street
Bryanston, 2021 Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 706-7404
Annual Tuition Rates: 46,825-71,790 ZAR per year

Brescia House is a well-established girls-only Catholic school in Bryanston.

British International College (BIC)
Address: 130, Bryanston Drive
Bryanston, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 706-7775
Annual Tuition Rates: 63,340 Foundation course, 10,800 per subject IGCSE, 16,620 per subject A Level

BIC has campuses in Bryanston and Pretoria and follows the Cambridge International Examination syllabus, an attractive option for English expats who need their A - and O-Levels as university entrance requirements. Follows the South African school year.

Crawford Preparatory
Address: Inquire at school for campus locations
Tel: 0860 SCHOOLS
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Crawford differs from most other private schools in that it follows the government school calendar with 4 terms. Several campuses in Sandton, Fourways, Lonehill, and Pretoria.

Dainfern College
Address: Broadacres Drive
Dainfern/Fourways, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 469-0635
Annual Tuition Rates: 49,451-77,676 ZAR per year

Dainfern College is a fast-growing co-ed school conveniently located at the center of the heavily expat neighborhoods of Dainfern and Fourways Gardens, including an adjacent nursery school. Member of Round Square.

Heronbridge College
Address: No 36 on the R114
Nietgedacht, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 540-4800
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Heronbridge is a co-ed school set beautifully in the countryside at the Northern outskirts of Johannesburg, approximately 10km from Fourways.

North American International School (NAIS)
Address: P.O. Box 14582
Hatfield, Pretoria 0028
Tel: 27 (0)12 460-1154
Annual Tuition Rates: US $18,500-57,200 per year

The North American International School located in Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria (close to a number of consulates), is a small private school offering an English language US curriculum with a traditional American School calendar and mainly caters to (but not exclusively) to diplomatic children from numerous countries. Offers Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes. Boarding facilities available.

Redhill School
Address: PO Box 65316
Benmore 2010 Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 783-4707
Annual Tuition Rates: 53,600-82,685 ZAR per year

Redhill in Morningside/Sandton is one of the oldest co-ed schools in Johannesburg, looking back at a long tradition.

Rodean School
Address: Princess of Wales Terrace
Parktown, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 647-3200
Annual Tuition Rates: 40,328-83,522 ZAR per year

Founded in 1903 as a sister school to the esteemed Rodean Brighton in England, Rodean is a leading South African girls-only boarding school. Round Square member.

St. Alban's College
Address: 110 Clearwater Rd.
Lynwood Glen, Pretoria
Tel: 27 12 348 1221
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

St. Alban's is an Anglican boys' boarding school for grades 8-12.

St. Andrew's School for Girls
Address: St Andrews Avenue
Senderwood, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 453-9408
Annual Tuition Rates: 37,350-78,805 ZAR per year

St. Andrew's is over 100 years old and one of Johannesburg's prestigious girls-only day and boarding schools.

St. Johns College
Address: St David Road
Houghton 2198 Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 645-3000
Annual Tuition Rates: 51,165-92,790 ZAR per year

St. Johns for boys, located in Houghton and also one of Johannesburg's oldest and prestigious schools, is known for its strong academic tradition. Open to boarders and day students.

St. Mary's School
Address: 55 Athol Street
Waverley, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 531-1800
Annual Tuition Rates: 39,600-80,100 ZAR per year

Established in 1888, St. Mary's for girls is the oldest school in Johannesburg. It is rich in history and based on an Anglican tradition. Boarding and day school.

St. Peters College
Address: Maxwell Drive
Sunninghill, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 807-5315
Annual Tuition Rates: 51,019-73,373 ZAR per year

St. Peters in Bryanston has a long Anglican tradition offering separate boys and girls tracks in prep school and co-ed classes in high school.

St Stithians College
Address: 40 Peter Place
Lyme Park, Sandton, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 577-6000
Annual Tuition Rates: 47,988-84,656 ZAR per year

St Stithians, located in Bryanston, is a Methodist school with a strong academic and sports track record. Offers single-ed instruction with both boys and girls tracks, as well as boarding facilities.

French School of Johannesburg/Pretoria

Lycée Français Jules Verne
Address: PO Box 556
Morningside 2057 Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 884-8936
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

The Lycée Français, located in Sandton with a satellite campus in Pretoria, offers bilingual (French and English) instruction to its student body of about half French and half non-French students, leading to a French baccalaureat degree. It has also been accredited for an IB track with the first class graduating in 2014.

German School of Johannesburg/Pretoria

Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg (DSJ)
Address: 11 Sans Souci Road
Parktown, Johannesburg
Tel: 27 (0)11 726 6220
Annual Tuition Rates: 38,400-50,880 ZAR per year

Founded in 1890, the German school is one of the oldest schools in the Johannesburg area, with campuses in Parktown and Pretoria. Instruction is bilingual (German and English) and graduates finish with a German international Abitur degree and/or the South African matric. Follows the South African school year.

Cape Town

American International School of Cape Town (AISCT)
Address: 42 Soetvlei Avenue
Constantia 7806
Tel: 27 (0)21 713-2220
Annual Tuition Rates: 47,960-95,781 ZAR per year

AISCT, located in Constantia, is endorsed as an independent school by the Western Cape Department of Education and is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges based in California, USA. It administers the ACER International Schools Assessment each February to monitor students' progress against other international schools around the world.

Bishops College
Address: Campground Road
Rondebosch
Tel: 27 21 659 1000
Annual Tuition Rates: 33,540-82,560 ZAR per year

Bishops College is located in Rondebosch and is one of South Africa's most prestigious Anglican all-boys schools. Day school as well as boarding facilities.

Bridge House
Address: PO Box 444
Franschhoek 7690
Tel: 27 (0)21 874-8100
Annual Tuition Rates: 29,130-68,730 ZAR per year

A relatively new co-ed boarding and day school, Bridge House is set in what has to be South Africa's most scenic area, the winelands around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch. Strong focus on leadership and member of Round Square.

Cedar House High School
Address: 5 Ascot Road
Kenilworth
Tel: 27 (21) 762 0649
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Cedar House is a relatively new, small co-ed High School in Kenilworth, with an expanding Prep School program (grades 6 and 7).

Chesterhouse College
Address: Mosselbankriver Road
D'Urbanvale Estate, Durbanville
Tel: 021 975 6650
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Chesterhouse is located in Durbanville and follows the British Junior School curriculum for the prep school and Cambridge International Examinations for the High School.

Herzlia Schools
Address: MH Goldschmidt Avenue
Highlands Estate 8001
Tel: 27 (0)21 464-3300
Annual Tuition Rates: 33,696-62,388 ZAR per year

Herzlia is a Jewish co-ed High School in Highlands Estate with various prep school campuses throughout Cape Town.

Hout Bay International School
Address: Riverside Terrace
Hout Bay
Tel: 27 (0)21 790-6285
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Hout Bay International School is located in the small town of Hout Bay, as the name suggests, and offers an IB curriculum as well as IGCSE and A-Levels, with a special focus on a well-rounded education in all areas to both local and international students.

International School of Cape Town (ISCT)
Address: Woodland Heights
Edinburgh Close, Wynberg 7806
Tel: 27 (0) 21 761 6202
Annual Tuition Rates: 34,960-70,300 ZAR per year

ISCT is located in Wynberg and follows the UK National Curriculum for years 1-9 and IGCSE and A-Levels from grade 10 onwards. Cambridge International Fellowship status since 2006.

Reddam House
Address: 20 Cavalcade Road
Green Point
Tel: 27 (0)21 433-0105
Annual Tuition Rates: 33,516-66,207 ZAR per year

Reddam House is a co-ed, non-denominational school with campuses in Green Point and Constantia.

St. Cyprian's School
Address: Gorge Road
Oranjezicht 8001
Tel: 27 (0)21 461-1090
Annual Tuition Rates: 36,900-71,000 ZAR per year

St. Cyprian's School in Oranjezicht is an Anglican, girls-only school with optional boarding founded in 1871. Member of RoundSquare.

St. George's Grammar School
Address: Richmond Road
Mowbray
Tel: 27 (0)21 689-9354
Annual Tuition Rates: 31,900-58,590 ZAR per year

Founded in 1848, this small Anglican co-educational school is the oldest private school in South Africa.

St. Joseph's Marist College
Address: Belmont Road
Rondebosch
Tel: 27-21-685-6715
Annual Tuition Rates: 29,416-46,383 ZAR per year

St. Joseph's in Rondebosch is a co-educational school with an optional Montessori track up to grade 6 as well as a Special Needs unit.

French School of Cape Town

Ecole Francaise du Cap
Address: 101 Hope Street
Gardens
Tel: 27 (0)12 461-2508
Annual Tuition Rates: 33,575-64,646 ZAR per year

Located in Gardens, the French School offers bilingual instruction following the French secondary educational curriculum and students obtain a French Baccalaureat degree at the end of grade twelve.

German School of Cape Town

Internationale Deutsche Schule Kapstadt (DSK)
Address: 28 Bay View Avenue
Tamboerskloof
Tel: 27 (0)21 480-3838
Annual Tuition Rates: 32,400 ZAR per year

DSK, located in Tamboerskloof, offers German/English bilingual instruction and dual High School tracks leading to either a South African Matric with German language certificate, or a Matric/German Abitur combo track granting European university entrance qualification.

KwaZulu-Natal Midlands

Hilton College
Address: Private Bag 6001
Hilton 3245 KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 27 (0)33 383-0100
Annual Tuition Rates: ZAR 188,400 full tuition and board

Hilton is one of South Africa's most prestigious boys' boarding schools with a focus on Christian values and a 130 year history. Together with Michaelhouse the most expensive South African school.

Michaelhouse College
Address: PO Balgowan 3275
KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 27 (0)33 234 1000
Annual Tuition Rates: ZAR 170,000 full tuition and board

Michaelhouse, the Anglican Diocesan College of Natal for boys, was founded in 1896 and is one of only two full boarding schools left in South Africa (the other is Hilton). It has an illustrious history and a long list of notable alumni. (The movie Spud, exemplifying typical South African boarding school life, is based on Michaelhouse).

German School of KwaZulu-Natal

Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg
Address: Private Bag X01
Hermannsburg KwaZulu-Natal 3258
Tel: 27 (0)74 125-0054
Annual Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Established in 1856, D.S. Hermannsburg is the oldest existing independent school in KwaZulu-Natal. English-instruction co-educational school. Grade 12 learners write IEB (Matric) examinations and the German Language Diploma. Boarding facilities available.

 

To find the best school for you and your family, read "Choosing the Right School".

 

By Sine Thieme, an American repat just returned from a three-year assignment in Johannesburg with her husband an four children, where she loved the weather, the people, going on safari, and the fact that you never quite knew when exactly 'just now' would be.