start a private school
in south africa
Some guidelines for establishing and registering an independent school
Starting a new school is both a daunting and rewarding project. It requires equal parts persistence, business acumen and patience. And some money.
Begin with the end in mind. You are not building a school to meet present needs only. You are ideally building a school that will last over 100 years. Consider the larger picture. What do you envisage the school looking like when it is completely developed?
questions to consider
- What phases do you intend to cater for?
- How big do you want the school to grow, and how fast?
- What will the maximum class size be for each phase?
- What will the pupil : teacher ratio ideally be?
- What community will the school serve?
- Will the target market deliver enough students?
- Can your target market afford the fees you envisage?
- What other schools will you be competing with for students?
- What Unique Selling Point will the school have?
- How will you market the new school? Who will do this?
- What will the medium of instruction be?
- What sort of curriculum is planned?
- What staffing will you require to deliver this curriculum?
- What facilities will you need for this curriculum?
- What sort of organisation are you proposing to set up?
- Will it be for-profit or non-profit?
- What governance structure are you intending to have?
- How democratic will the Board be? What will be the role of parents?
- How do you propose to remunerate your teachers?
- What conditions of service will you offer – pension, medical aid, housing?
- What sort of Head will you be looking for to start up your school?
- What provision have you made for start-up costs?
- How will you benchmark your fee structure?
- How will your fees be payable? Annually, termly, monthly?
- What policy will you have on bursaries/scholarships?
- What policy do you have regarding debtors?
- Are you required to register with the Department of Basic Education?
- Are you required to register with the Department of Social Development?
- When do you need to be accredited by Umalusi?
- Will all your teachers be registered with the South African Council for Educators?
Registration of a new school can be time-consuming
Preparation is Essential
Applications for registration need to be submitted by the end of March in the year prior to opening a new school
example requirements for school registration
Our senior consultant works part-time as a Regional Director for the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA). Prior to this he was employed in independent education for 42 years of which 29 were as a Head of school. We have developed an extensive knowledge of the provincial registration process and assisted more than 20 schools to register in the last five years.