Best schools in South Africa: Top secondary schools in SA

Best schools in South Africa: Top secondary schools in SA

Attending the best schools in South Africa is the best thing that can happen to your career even if you choose to branch out into the creative industry later on in life. But, do you know what to look for when choosing a high school in South Africa? Is it an expense issue, a location one, or are you basing the decision on religious affiliations? Read on to see a variety of institutions, some of which are very expensive and best performing institutions in South Africa. The list also explores government and private high schools in Johannesburg.

Best schools in South Africa
Source: UGC

Which is the best school in South Africa? This question changes depending on your location. If you are in Cape Town the question will be posed as, what are the best secondary learning centers in Cape Town? The answer to this question, however, is very simple.

Best schools in South Africa

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The best secondary education institutions in South Africa can be argued based on a variety of factors. Depending on your preference, you can choose the best performing school as one that has the highest mean grade in the final year exam. Another person would argue that the best school is the most expensive one, while yet another might look at it from the point of getting value for money. Each of these arguments is actually right and can be used to defend your choice of school.

Therefore, this article will look at some of the most popular categories when it comes to the best institutions for secondary education in South Africa. As such, the most expensive institution in South Africa, the top performing institutions and secondary education centers in Johannesburg will be used.

Top 10 high schools in South Africa

Every year, the matric results are released showing how students and institutions in general performed during their last final-year examinations. A high pass rate in a town or province is a reason to celebrate and candidates eagerly await their individual results. After crunching the numbers, there is a listing of the best schools in South Africa based on these Matric results. Based on the 2018 results, these are the top 10 high schools in South Africa and their average distinctions per student.

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It is important to note that institutions either opt to sit for the Independent Examination Board (IEB) or the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams. Some institutions, mostly private, offer their students the chance to sit for the Cambridge International exam. The top 10 high schools in South Africa list is base on the two recognized South African options.

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Afrikaanse Hoer Mesleskool- 3.523

Located in Pretoria, this Afrikaans-speaking girls’ high school was the top performing school. Founded in 1920, it was the first Afrikaans-speaking school at a time when Afrikaans was not the official language. Later, another building was constructed to separate the boys and the girls.

Star College Capetown – 3.419

most expensive schools in south africa
Image:, @starcollegesybrandpark
Source: UGC

Hot on its heels, Star College bagged the second best performing high school in 2018. With an annual fee of R29,250, this high school is a perfect opportunity to have high quality education without spending a fortune.

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Al-Falaah College – 3.414

The best performing school in Durban is an independent religious school. It is a co-educational institution that teaches the Islam curriculum- Arabic, Islamic studies and Hifz.

Inkamana School, Vryheld – 3.3381

This boarding school, with a capacity of about 200 students, in Vryheid caters to both boys and girls. It was the best performing school in Vryheid.

Holy Family College – 2.871

This institution caters to both girls and boys.

Sama High – 2.577

Sama is an institution located in Johannesburg is really value for money.

Colleglate Girls High – 2.533

This is one of the best performing secondary education institutions in Port Elizabeth. In fact, it was the only one that made it to the top 10 list of 2018. It is best known for its ethos and has some of the most high school friendly policies such as the no-bullying one and the plagiarism policy.

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Westville Girls High – 2.52

Girls’ only institutions seem to have done pretty well in 2018, Westville being one of them. Westville is a public institution in Durban

Inanda Seminary School – 2.452

Inanda is one of the oldest secondary education institution for girls in South Africa that also produced the best average distinctions per student in 2018. Founded in 1869 by the missionaries, the institution continues to do well to date.

Hoerskool Linden – 2.367

The last institution that made it to the 2018 top 10 high schools in South Africa is Hoerskul Linden. It is an Afrikaans-speaking institution that caters to both boys and girls.

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Most expensive schools in South Africa

Tuition fees are always expensive and will only grow with the fluctuation of the exchange rates. But the following 8 institutions top the list of the most expensive institutions in South Africa. While compiling this list, only the tuition fees were considered. All the figures are in the South African Rand, except for the African Leadership Academy.

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African Leadership Academy $30,900- mixed

Best schools in South Africa: Top secondary schools in SA
Image:, @africanleadershipacademycollege&university
Source: UGC

Founded in 2004, this institution is not your average secondary education institution. In fact, nothing is common about it. To begin with, the African Leadership Academy does not subscribe to the South African certification system. It does not offer the Independent Examination Board certification or the National Senior Certificate. It is for this reason that many lists leave out the African Leadership Academy in their lists of the best secondary institutions in South Africa.

ALA’s program caters to 16-19year-olds with the aim of honing their leadership skills. The reason it is in this list is because only few are selected to go through the program and the Cambridge International Examinations standards are used. The fees vary depending on the exchange rate and are 50% higher than any other institution in the country.

Hilton College R298,600- boys

The second most expensive secondary education institution in South Africa is the Hilton College that costs R298,600 annually to attend. This private boarding institution is a boys’ only secondary education institution, one of two in South Africa. The students here go through the Independent Examination Board (IEB). This institution has produced 20 Rhodes scholars and constantly produces Ivy League students.

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MichaelHouse R284,000 - boys

Popularly referred to as MichaelHouse KMZ Midlands, it is the other remaining boys’ only private boarding school in South Africa. It is also among the most expensive secondary education institutions and has produced over 30 Rhodes scholars.

St Andrew’s College R271,965 - boys

At R271, 965 annually, St Andrew’s College is the most expensive religious institution in South Africa. St Andrews College caters to 490 pupils and has the most diverse list of old Andreans (old boys of the institution). Many of them are in the sports industry. They also produce musicians, politicians, and engineers of high repute.

Roedean School for Girls R270,000- girls

Of all the private high schools in Johannesburg, Rodean is the most expensive girls’ secondary education institution. In fact, it is the only girls’ learning center in this list of 8 of the most expensive institutions in South Africa. However, it is a day and boarding school and currently hosts 815 girls.

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St John’s College R264,735

This world class learning institution is hard to classify as it accepts boys only from all grades whereas girls are only accepted in Sixth Form and the Bridge Nursery school. It is still one of the most expensive schools in South Africa. Students either take the IEB or the Cambridge exam.

Bishops, Rondebosch R259,620- Boys

For R259,620 per year, Bishops offers a balanced curriculum to its secondary students. The institution holds high regard for co-curricular and spiritual activities. This is also one of the best learning institutions in South Africa if you are looking to become a more involved parent. The regular partnerships between teachers, parents and their students is said to prepare them for the outside world.

Kearsney College R259,600

Kearsney College is the go-to secondary education institution in West Durban. Founded in 1921, Kearsney College refers to itself as a leading independent traditional high school for boys. It places heavy emphasis on sports with various awards and qualifications highlighted in the official website.

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Johannesburg- private and government secondary education institutions

Best schools in South Africa
Source: UGC

All private secondary education institutions in Johannesburg have to be registered with the Independent Schools Association of South Africa (ISASA). Some of the best private high schools in Johannesburg are;

  • Brescia House - girls only
  • Redhill - co-educational
  • Roedean – girls only
  • St David’s Marista Inanda – boys only
  • St Peter’s Boys – boys only
  • St Peter’s Girls – girls only
  • St Peter’s College – co-educational

The genders are indicated to help you scroll through the list of the best secondary education institutions in South Africa easily. If you prefer a government high school, check out this list of some of the popular government high schools in Johannesburg;

  • Holy Family College
  • Sama High
  • Hoerskool Linden
  • Jeppe High for Girls
  • Jeppe High for Boys
  • Barnato Park High

Selecting a secondary education institution from the numerous lists of the best schools in South Africa is a difficult choice, one that can ruin or make your career. You want to make the right decision based on your career path. Factors such as finances and location are also critical. Having a guideline on the pros and cons of each institution would be a good place to start. Visiting the website of a school for a detailed article with some of the most common deciding factors such as tuition fees and top performance also helps a lot. Make the right choice.

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Source: Briefly News

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