Private school prices compared in South Africa – Curro vs Crawford vs others

Independent school operator ADvTech on Monday (29 August) reported an 18% increase in revenue for the six months ended June 2022, to R3.38 billion.

According to the group, the number of learners enrolled in its 108 schools increased by 8% in South Africa to 29,599 learners in total.

Roy Douglas, the group’s chief executive officer, said that ADvTECH delivered another set of strong results that reinforce the group’s consistent performance and highlights the robust, resilient business model.

ADvTech’s business model is one of growing a network of private education institutions at a profit, a model that has grown in popularity in recent years through the likes of Curro, the Reddam network of schools, and Montessori Schools.

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The increase in enrollment from ADvTECH paired with the recent report from competitor Curro that echo’s enrollment uptick, shows strong growth for independent schools in South Africa.

ADvTech, compared to traditional schools, offers both school and tertiary group options. This, according to the directors of the company, gives it a significant advantage in that it has a significantly larger investment in intellectual property that can assist in shaping its curricula.

Under ADvTech, there are nine brands that comprise 108 schools across the country, including popular schools such as Crawford and Trinityhouse. Curro, meanwhile, has 70,519 learners enrolled as at end-June 2022, with 181 schools in its portfolio.

For context, South Africa currently has 2,154 independent schools, with 632,443 learners attending. Independent school organisations, such as ADvTech and Curro, have multiple schools across the nation that offer similar curricula and uniforms; however, pricing between schools can differ based on their locations.

In terms of South African law, public schools depend on the government for funding and materials; however, private schools rely on private funding mechanisms and usually charge school fees much higher than that of their public counterparts.

6 schools in South Africa charge over R300,000 a year

BusinessTech looked at 5 Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) schools and how their prices vary:

Note: The fees listed below are as they appear on the various schools’ web pages and cover board and/or tuition only. Fees are for the highest level of learning available (grade 12). They include only the listed tuition fees/boarding fees and exclude voluntary or additional fees (where listed) and pre-payment discounts indicated by the schools.

School Location/s Annual tuition 2022
Reddam Bedfordview, Constantia, Durbanville, Helderfontein, Ballito, Waterfall, Umhlanga R157 116 – R208 548
Crawford Bedfordview, Bryanston, Fourways, La Lucia, Lonehill, North Coast, Pretoria, Ruimsig, Sandton R130 680 – R207 720
Trinityhouse Little Falls, Heritage Hill, Randpark Ridge, Glenvista, Glenwood House R103 200 – R117 000
Curro All nine provinces but the majority in Gauteng followed by Western Cape then KwaZulu Natal R64 764
Acudeo College Crystal Park, Kirkney, Protea Glen, Thornview R36 464 – R38 500

Curro’s fees differ widely based on its numerous locations and offerings It can cost from around R6,000 pm/R73,000 – to in excess of R9,000 pm/ R108,000 annually as is the case of Curro Waterfall in Midrand.

Online schooling

New options of schooling have opened up, exacerbated by the move online during the pandemic.

For example, the University of Cape Town’s online high school said it would offer an additional curriculum in the form of the Cambridge Assessment International Education – priced at R3,300 per month.

According to UCT, the Online High School was launched with the aim of being the most affordable private school in the country. It offers a CAPS-align curriculum, which enables learners in grades 8 to 11 in any corner of the globe the opportunity to study at a monthly fee of R2,195 per month.

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Artmotion S.Africa

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