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Top 21 Schools in South Africa | 2024 Complete Guide

Havana Dauncey
Top 21 Schools in South Africa | 2024 Complete Guide

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Spread across South Africa, you will find a wide range of distinguished high schools which presents the whole package - academic excellence, dominance on the sports field, a celebration of arts and culture, and rich cultural diversity.

Each top institution cultivates an environment for your child to excel, gain crucial life skills, and find a supportive community and from there, they can launch their future. Each is unique in its own way. The trick is finding the best school in South Africa for your child. With many factors to consider including location, gender, budget, and more.

Here are the top 21 high schools in South Africa for 2024 to help you find the perfect high school for your child’s future!

Best Schools In The Western Cape

Rondebosch Boys’ High School

Schools in South Africa

Description: Based in the heart of Rondebosch, Rondebosch Boys’ High School is known for its rounded, complete package for boys excelling in academics, sports, and the arts. Rondebosch Boys’ High School strive to guide its students to become resilient and adaptable, equipping them with the educational, ethical, social, and emotional competencies to affect significant and lasting change in a changing world.

Area: Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape

Type: Public

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R71 000 for Grade 8 / R65 000 for Grades 9-12

Bishops Diocesan College

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Bishops Diocesan College is an independent Anglican boys’ school and one of the most prestigious schools in Cape Town. It has a long tradition of striving for excellence in the key areas of educational practice – the academic, sports, pastoral, cultural, and spiritual activities which make up the life of schools.

Area: Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape

Type: Private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R185 020

Westerford High School

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Westerford High School is a co-educational, secular, public high school. It’s a pupil-centred school that prides itself on a strong academic curriculum, compulsory sports programme, and an enthusiastically embraced cultural life. It’s known nationally for its consistently high academic achievements.

Area: Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape

Type: Public

Gender: Co-ed

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R49 740

Bloemhof

Schools in South AfricaDescription: The Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof , located next to the Eerste River in Stellenbosch, is the oldest Afrikaans medium school for girls in South Africa and has since 2017 been ranked as the best high school with Afrikaans as the language of instruction in the Western Cape.

Area: Stellenbosch

Type: Public

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: Afrikaans

Annual School Fees: R41 122

St Cyprians

Schools in South AfricaDescription: St Cyprian’s Diocesan School for Girls is a values-driven, family school with a strong sense of identity and an expanded community that includes supportive, engaged parents, strong links with the Anglican Church, and a loyal and involved alumnae body.

Area: Oranjezicht, Cape Town, Western Cape

Type: Private

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R148 900

Best Schools in Gauteng

St. Peter’s College

Schools in South Africa

Description: St Peter’s College is an independent, Anglican high school that prescribes the co-educational model of schooling, espousing Christian values, and providing children with a balanced, caring, varied, and modern environment.

Area: Sandton, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Type: Private

Gender: Co-ed

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R147 844 - R162 269 Grades 8-12 with discount for siblings

Pretoria Boys High School

Schools in South Africa

Description: Pretoria Boys High School is a traditional boys’ school located on an 85-acre campus southeast of the city centre. The school prides itself on maintaining exceptional standards and this is illustrated through its ethos of holistic education based on the fundamental pillars of a full academic, cultural and sporting programme.

Area: Brooklyn, Pretoria, Gauteng

Type: Public

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R67 500 - R65 850 from Grades 8 - 12

St Mary’s School

Description: St Mary's School , Waverley, is an independent Anglican school, established in 1888, making it Johannesburg’s oldest school. Its pupils come from diverse backgrounds and are encouraged to embrace their individuality and to be open, friendly, and confident. An impressive number have made their mark in the arts and sciences, business, politics, the media, and sports, both locally and abroad.

Area: Waverly, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Type: Private

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R162 175 - R176 640 from Grades 8 - 12

Best Schools in Kwazulu Natal

Durban Girls High

Schools in South Africa

Description: Durban Girls’ High School builds on a proud tradition of embracing the challenges of new educational ideas and offers a secure, safe, and caring environment with respect for personal dignity. It is a modern, innovative, and vibrant institution where the individual needs of young women from Grades 8 to 12 are met.

Area: Glenwood, Durban, Kwazulu Natal

Type: Public

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R38 500

St Anne’s Diocesan College

Schools in South Africa

Description: St Anne’s Diocesan College is an independent girls’ high school with a long tradition of providing excellent, balanced, and globally relevant education; providing a holistic education with every opportunity to develop as an individual, whether in spirituality, academics, sports, music, drama, and with her general wellness, sense of belonging, and happiness, being prioritised.

Area: Hilton, Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal

Type: Private

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R147 060

Michaelhouse School

Schools in South Africa

Description: Michaelhouse is a private senior boys’ boarding school with the values to live according to the Christian values of integrity, humility, compassion, and courage in service to their community and country. The school’s campus offers an environment rich in time and facilities allowing the unique potential of each young boy to emerge and thrive. It is the development of close, life-long friendships that is one of the most extraordinary aspects of life at Michaelhouse.

Area: Balgowan, Kwazulu-Natal Midlands

Type: Private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R347 680 (including boarding)

Kearsney College

Schools in South Africa

Description: Kearsney College’s vision is described as a world-class independent boys’ school. Grounded in the values of their Methodist heritage, providing a globally-competitive holistic education and empowering young boys to achieve their full potential. The academic ethos at the College is as competitive as the one enjoyed in sports and cultural arenas.

Area: Botha’s Hill, Durban, Kwazulu Natal

Type: Private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R205 150 - R224 620 from Grades 8 - 12

Hilton College

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Hilton College is a private boarding school for boys. From their unique learning approach to outreach initiatives, extraordinary 1,600-hectare estate, to opportunities to take the stage and excel on the sports field. Their environment encourages singular stories of triumph, distinction, determination, compassion, courage and passion.

Area: Hilton, near Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal

Type: Private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English:

Annual School Fees: R369 920

Best Schools In The Eastern Cape

Grey High School

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Grey High School remains one of the leading schools in the country, with a culture and value system that support its fine heritage. Grey is recognised for its competitiveness and excellence in academic, sporting and cultural activities, as well as for its ability to consistently produce leaders.

Area: Mill Park, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape

Type: Semi-private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R63 840

Pearson High School

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Striving for excellence in academics, sports, spiritual and cultural activities, Pearson High School aims to cater for every individual. Known as one of the best and first parallel-medium high schools in Gqeberha, Pearson High School is a unique institution.

Area: Summerstrand, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape

Type: Public

Gender: Co-ed

Language of Instruction: Afrikaans and English

Annual School Fees: R40 464

Claredon High School for Girls

Clarendon Schools South Africa

Description: Clarendon High School for Girls provides an innovative environment that values creativity and is receptive to new ideas. To give their girls the best chance of success they give them a dynamic education that is geared towards the future.

Area: Selborne, East London, Eastern Cape

Type: Public

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R45 700

Collegiate Girls High

Collegiate Girls High

Description: Founded in 1874, Collegiate has a tradition of academic excellence and has excelled as one of the leading girls' school in South Africa. 

Area: Parsons Hill, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape

Type: Private boarding

Gender: All Girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R46 310

Selborne College

Schools in South Africa

Description: Selborne College’s mission is to offer young boys an excellent, well-rounded, and holistic educational experience. While their approach has Christianity as its basis, they strive to promote tolerance of other faiths and belief systems. Selborne has built up an enviable reputation on the sports field and over the years has produced 56 Springboks.

Area: Selborne, East London, Eastern Cape

Type: Semi-private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R47 850

Best Schools In The Free State

Eunice High School

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Eunice High School’s long-standing tradition of excellence is the result of its unique staff, 850 learners and parents collectively supporting, upholding, and contributing to the myriad of activities and opportunities offered at their multi-faceted school.

Area: Universitas, Bloemfontein, Free State

Type: Public

Gender: All girls

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R34 000

Grey College

Schools in South AfricaDescription: Grey College provides a secure and positive school environment in which Grey boys can experience success and a sense of belonging. Parallel medium education is one of the most important benefits of Grey College in which Afrikaans and English-speaking boys receive language of instruction in Afrikaans or English respectively, in separate classrooms. This ensures that each language group maintains its own identity and cultural values.

Area: Universitas, Bloemfontein, Free State

Type: Semi-private

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English and Afrikaans

Annual School Fees: R38 840 - R38 040 from Grades 8 - 12

St Andrew’s School

Schools in South AfricaDescription: St Andrew’s School has been providing educational opportunities for boys from different faiths and cultural traditions who resides in Bloemfontein, the Free State, the other provinces of South Africa and beyond the borders of the country for well over a century-and-a-half. Among all-boys government schools, St Andrew’s is one of only four boys’ schools in the country to achieve a 100% passing rate for more than five consecutive years.

Area: Westdene, Bloemfontein, Free Staet

Type: Public

Gender: All boys

Language of Instruction: English

Annual School Fees: R44 240

Best Areas to Live in South Africa Based on Schools

With the wide selection of top schools to choose from in South Africa, you also have to consider the area you stay in, as most of these schools prioritise admitting children who stay in their school zone. With that in mind, here are the best areas to live in for the top schools in South Africa.

Best Areas For Schools In The Western Cape

In the Western Cape, Rondebosch is the hub of well-known and acclaimed Primary and High Schools, including Rondebosch Boys Schools, Bishops, Westerford and Rustenburg Girls.

This is true for surrounding neighbourhoods like Newlands and Claremont, and Wynberg which include SACS, Hershel, Springfield, International School of Cape Town and Wynberg Boys and Girls.

Additionally, Stellenbosch is jam-packed with excellent schools, such as Bloemhof, Rhenish, Paul Roos Gymnasium, and Hoërskool Stellenbosch.

Best Areas For Schools In The Gauteng

The best schools in Gauteng tend to be concentrated around Sandton and surrounding neighbourhoods in Johannesburg, while in Pretoria, the epicentre of good schools is Sunnyside and Brooklyn, near the University of Pretoria.

Best Areas For Schools In The KwaZulu-Natal

While most of the top schools in Kwazulu Natal are boarding schools, they are mostly distributed between Hilton, near Pietermaritzburg, and Glenwood and Westville in Durban.

Best Areas For Schools In The Eastern Cape

The best high schools in the Eastern Cape are spread between Gqeberha and East London. For Gqeberha specifically, most of the schools are found in neighbourhoods such as Summerstrand and north of Summerstrand including Mill Park, North End and Port Elizabeth Central. As for East London, Selborne and Berea are great areas for a variety of top schools.

Best Areas For Schools In The Free State

While Bloemfontein is a fairly small town, it’s still packed with high schools where you can find a range of top schools in areas such as Universitas and Bayswater.

Conclusion

Each one of these schools offers a unique environment for your child to thrive. Factoring in the right location, type of school, gender, language and budget, you can narrow down this list to not only the best high school in South Africa but the best high school for your child.

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