Expat parents moving to South Africa have a wide range of high-quality options for educating their children. South African schools are either government-funded public schools or independent, privately run schools. In practice, some schools are semi-private, meaning that while they are ultimately accountable to the government, they are partially self-funded and are often able to offer better facilities and a higher standard of education than other government schools.
Although there are 11 official languages in South Africa, English is most commonly spoken in cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, and is therefore the teaching medium in the vast majority of schools. That is, however, where uniformity ends – schools in South Africa vary widely in terms of cost, quality and curriculum.
While most expats tend to send their children to a private or international school, the decision depends on a number of factors, such as location, cost, the availability of places and the intended length of the family’s stay in South Africa.