South Africa’s top private schools have lost thousands of students over the last year due to rising school fees and other costs.
According to a report by the Sunday Times, two of South Africa’s biggest private school chains, Curro and AdvTech, lost 3,881 pupils last year – mainly because parents could not afford to pay fees.
In addition, both St John’s College in Parktown and St Stithians College in Sandton confirmed that they had seen a number of drop-outs as well as an increase in students who had fallen behind in school fees.
However, it appears the pain is being felt at both ends of the school spectrum as enrolment at these private schools has also dropped – increasing by 2.7% this year compared to 4.9% last year – while some schools have been unable to fill their Grade 1 classes this year.
Having adjusted their fee structures for 2018, South Africa’s elite schools are now more expensive than ever.
Notably, when BusinessTech first published a list of the most expensive schools in 2014, only one school (Hilton College) was priced over R200,000 for boarding and tuition – now in 2018, 17 schools have moved into that price range.
As it currently stands Hilton College and Michaelhouse are the most expensive schools in the country (first and second, respectively), followed by St Andrew’s College (Grahamstown) in third, Roedean School for Girls in fourth, and Kearnsney College in fifth.
Aside from the prestige, tradition, and beautiful facilities and grounds, the fees generally cover tuition, board, games, ordinary medical attention, the use of the sanatorium, library and laundry.
It also includes basic entertainment which is arranged for learners, and transport for sporting and other events.
Most expensive schools in SA
|St Andrew’s College, Grahamstown||R252,990||R235,335||7.5%|
|Roedean School for Girls||R252,341||R236,795||6.6%|
|St Mary’s, Waverley||R234,540||R215,200||8.9%|
|St Andrew’s School for Girls, Senderwood||R233,810||R219,450||6.5%|
|St Alban’s College||R229,410||R212,600||7.9%|
|St John’s College||R227,815||R226,965||0.4%|
|Diocesan School for Girls, Grahamstown||R219,420||R203,190||8.0%|
|St Mary’s DSG, Pretoria||R209,675||R194,940||7.6%|
|The Wykeham Collegiate||R196,600||R182,140||7.9%|
|Herschel Girls’ School||R190,150||R180,040||5.6%|