Are you looking for an international school in South Africa? Search for the best international schools in South Africa; you can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK national curriculum, a US-style model or the International Primary Curriculum.
South Africa has made steady progress towards the United Nations development goal of universal primary education since apartheid was abolished in 1991. Net enrolment in primary schools was 87 per cent in 2019, according to UNESCO.
State schools receive grants from the government but also charge fees, with exemptions for children from the poorest families. There is a large, English-medium independent school sector, comprising religious, non-profit and for profit organisations, with some schools also receiving public subsidies.
It includes more than 30 international schools offering the curriculums of the UK, the US, France, Germany and the International Baccalaureate Office as well as Waldorf and Montessori systems. There are 12 IB World Schools, three of which are authorised to teach the IB Diploma programme.
Boarding schools have a long history in South Africa, with elite boys’ school Michaelhouse dating back to 1896 and Roedean School, sister school to the renowned British girls’ boarding establishment, set up in 1903.
But there are also newer additions, such as the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, which was opened by the US talk show host in 2007. It admits Grade 7 girls who show academic talent and leadership potential from households with modest incomes.
The private international education group Inspired, which has more than 80 schools around the world, operates 11 campuses in South Africa, of which eight are part of the Reddam House brand and three come under the Reddford House brand.
Both types offer through-train, coeducational, day schooling, aim to provide a holistic education and follow the South African curriculum. Reddam House Helderfontein, which opened in January 2017, has offered a boarding option since 2018.
The model was developed by Australian educator and former science teacher Graeme Crawford, who earlier founded South Africa’s Crawford Schools group, which operates nine schools across the country.
Education is compulsory for nine years from age seven to 15. The state system has a four-year foundation stage including a non-compulsory reception class, followed by intermediate and senior stages of three years each.
A further three years of study leading to the National Senior Certificate is optional. Net secondary enrolment was 70 per cent in 2019 – 20 percentage points lower than in 2015.
If you are looking specifically for International Baccalaureate World Schools in South Africa, you can find selected schools on our sister website: www.ibyb.org.