South Africa’s largest private education provider, AdvTech, is growing its offering in the ‘mid-fee schools’ sector.
“Many South African parents have considered the option of sending their child to a private school, particularly in areas where there is insufficient capacity in good government schools,” says Christo De Wit, MD of the College Brands within the AdvTech schools division.
“Given South Africa’s tough economic climate, this option is not always within reach of parents seeking the highest level of academic excellence in education. However many more will now be able to access our offering, with the growth of our Pinnacle College campuses,” he said.
The Pinnacle College group of schools currently consist of six schools in the Gauteng region, including:
- Pinnacle College Rynfield in Benoni;
- Pinnacle College Founders Hill in Modderfontein;
- Pinnacle College Copperleaf in Centurion;
- Pinnacle College Kyalami;
- Pinnacle College Linden;
- Pinnacle College Waterfall in Barbeque Downs.
AdvTech said it plans to expand the brand to other provinces in the near future.
“These schools provide a reasonably priced education which does not compromise on quality, and are supported by the same Central Academic Team that has seen AdvTech’s premium brands such as Crawford College and Trinityhouse become some of the most sought after schools in the country,” said De Wit.
“This is an area in which Pinnacle Schools both benefit from the opportunity to build on that legacy, while also putting together a performance-focused teaching team that will seek to ensure that the curriculum is developed alongside a deliberate programme of teaching global citizenship skills from research, collaboration, communication and social skills overlaid with strong critical and creative thinking ability.”
Pricing and structure
Fees at the different schools can vary greatly depending on the area and the grades that a student is in.
- Pricing at Pinnacle College Rynfield starts at R35,000 a year for Grade 000, rising to R66,000 for Grades 11- 12.
- Similarly, parents at Pinnacle College Copperleaf can expect to pay from R40,288 for Grade 00 up to R57,769 for Grades 8-9.
- On the more expensive side, pricing starts at R57,000 for Grade 000 at Pinnacle College Waterfall – rising to R85,500 for Grade 9 students.
De Wit says the goal is for each student to progress incrementally as they move through the grades, ensuring that each one benefits optimally from his or her own individual developmental journey.
“At Pinnacle Colleges, students will write Independent Examinations Board (IEB) exams,” he said.
“In the years leading up to their final exams, they will benefit from benchmarking assessments as well as opportunities to engage in a digital curriculum designed by the internationally acclaimed experts.”
He added that individual attention is high on the agenda, with small class sizes the norm.
“With our student-teacher ratio of around 15-to-1, students will be assured of individual attention. In addition, support and extra help is made available to students at no additional cost as part of the commitment to incremental growth for all children.”
De Wit says that because Pinnacle Colleges are part of the AdvTech Schools group, investment in sports and culture facilities and amenities is done upfront so that the schools’ programmes are complete from day one.
“The result is that schools can benefit from all the advantages of being new while taking leveraging the existing strengths of the AdvTech schools group.”
But De Wit says parents considering a private school education should do their homework before deciding on a school.
“All private schools assume that parents will simply accept that their value proposition is a good one and better than a state school, but parents should interrogate this and seek a school that will offer a balanced curriculum, focused on achieving academic excellence by giving sufficient individual attention and in partnership with parents.”