Until recently, South African parents wanting to give their children the best possible education were caught between a rock and a hard place. If their children couldn’t get into a good public school, they either had to bite the bullet to pay for private schooling or take their chances in a government schooling system that’s creaking at the seams.
Thankfully, that’s starting to change, with the emergence of a new breed of private schools that are providing private school quality education at a price point comparable to many government schools.
SPARK Schools is one of those new breed of private schools educating more than 10,500 learners in 21 schools across South Africa. Our fees, for example, for 2020 is R25,500 for primary school children and R33,000 per highschool child.
The demand for the SPARK Schools model has been overwhelming. We opened the first school in our network in January 2013, with 160 learners and 20 staff. In January 2019, we opened our first high school, and have 1,000 staff across our 21 schools.
We’re deliberately positioned at the lower end of the cost curve in private education, because we want to create a more inclusive education landscape and disrupt the accepted norm that private schools are only for an elite few. While fully aligned to South African national standards, SPARK Schools extends learning to meet international grade level standards and we believe all parents should have the opportunity to provide their child a great education at an affordable cost. We enable scholars to become competitive against global standards, not just local standards.
Everyone talks about how the education system in South Africa is in crisis, and that the future is bleak. For us, it’s a massive opportunity to create the change, and give our children the start they deserve.
CEO at SPARK Schools