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. Just four per cent of primary age children were not at school by 2011 and only seven per cent failed to complete primary education, 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 three IB World Schools, of which two, including Hout Bay International School in Cape Town, 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 new additions, such as the Oprah Winfrey Leadership School 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 monthly income under R10,000.
The private international education group Inspired, which owns 39 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, is offering a boarding option from 2018.
The model was developed Australian educator and former science teacher Graeme Crawford, who earlier founded South Africa’s Crawford Schools group, which operates 12 schools and seven kindergartens.
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. Gross secondary enrolment was 99 per cent in 2014, but the government has come under fire over standards after 25 per cent of students failed the 2016 school leaving exam.
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.