‘Cheaper’ private schools delivered more top performers than South Africa’s most expensive schools in 2018

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James de Villiers 

“Cheaper” South African private schools outperformed their most expensive counterparts last year, producing more of the country’s top performing matriculants outside the government school system.

On Thursday, the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) released a list of the 61 top matriculants in 2018. The IEB is the examination agency for South Africa’s private schools.

These pupils ranked among the top 5% in six or more subjects and achieved a rating level of 7 in Life Orientation in the IEB examinations.

Fifteen private schools had two or more top-performing pupils in that list of top performers. But only three of those schools with multiple top matriculants – Roedean School, Michaelhouse, and Hilton College – were among the most expensive private schools in South Africa.

Meanwhile, Helpmekaar Kollege in Johannesburg and Midstream College in Centurion – with school fees less than half of those at the most expensive private day schools – produced five of the country’s top performing matriculants between them.

However, the top list is not corrected for school or class sizes, and schools with very large intakes have a statistically improved chance of producing multiple top matrics.

Business Insider South Africa compiled a list of the private schools which produced the most top-performing IEB matriculants, comparing them with their annual school fees.

The fifteen schools with the most top performers had average school fees of R118,057 – while the country’s ten most expensive private day schools has average tuition fees of R147,191.

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