Private Schools in Johannesburg

May 9, 2011

I've previously spoken about South African Schools and what factors expats should take into consideration when choosing a school for their children. Below you will find a list of private and international schools in Johannesburg (focused mainly on the Northern Suburbs where a large number of expats tend to settle). International schools typically follow their home country's structure and curriculum. Private South African schools are made up of preparatory schools (divided into Junior Prep Grades 0-3 and Senior Prep Grades 4-7) and high schools (Grades 8-12). The term “college” often refers to a school that encompasses both prep and high school.

International Schools

American International School of Johannesburg
Northern Suburbs, Pretoria

Lycée Français Jules Verne

Deutsche Internationale Schule Johannesburg
Parktown, Pretoria

British International College
Bryanston, Pretoria

Private Schools

Brescia House School
Bryanston, Girls only, K-12

Crawford Preparatory
Sandton, Fourways, Lonehill, Pretoria, Pre-K to 12

Dainfern College
Dainfern, Pre-K to 12
(Also see this article in Independent Education)

Heronbridge College
Northern Suburbs, Pre-K to 12

Kyalami Prep School
Kyalami, K-7

Michael Mount Waldorf School
Bryanston, K-12

Redhill School
Morningside/Sandton, Pre-K to 12

St. Johns College
Houghton, Pre-K to 12

St. Peters College
Bryanston, K-12

St Stithians College
Bryanston, K-12

Summit College
Fourways/Kyalami, Pre-K to 12

Further reading:

  • To find out what factors to consider when choosing a school in South Africa for your child, click here.
  • To learn why Dainfern College, a private South African school, was the right choice for our family, click here.
  • To read about how "going local" in terms of school and sports can enrich your family's life, click here.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Sine,
What about universities in Johannesburg and Pretoria? My husband is looking to do some post graduate studies in business/finance while we are there. Any recommendations? Thanks,

Sine said...

Hi Jeanne,

I don't know much about those, but I do know that there aren't many, so it should be easy enough to research. In Johannesburg, there is Wits, (officially University of the Witwatersrand) and it has an excellent reputation. Depending where you live, Pretoria might be closer (if you're in the Northern suburbs), and the University of Pretoria might be an option. I heard in a talk at school recently that it is also considered to be good. Then there is also UNISA ( where you can study online (I think, they call it distance education). I've also heard good things about them. Just be aware that he should probably start early, as the registration process might be a bit more bureaucratic than what you're used to:-)

Hope that helps, let me know if I can help with anything else.

Ali khan said...

Hi sine,
I am moving to joburg with my family on job transfer. My family is pretty much terrified having over heard the crime rate and robberies there. I too am concerned, but wonder whether these threats exists in today's modern society?
I am also unaware of schools n residential areas, and what are the costs associated.
We are Indians, settled in middle east for last 7 years.

Kindly help us find some realistic answers. Appreciate your efforts in advance.


Sine said...

Hi Ali,

Neither I nor any of the other expats I know have had any problems with crime whatsoever. Our life is as normal as it was in whichever place we lived in previously. Having said that, I still get comments from ex-South Africans who left the country because they didn't feel safe, and I think their concerns were very valid at the time. Things have changed, from what I can tell, but I also think it depends on where you're planning to live. Many private schools are located in or around the Northern Suburbs (i.e. Bryanston, Fourways area) and if you plan on living in a security estate somewhere around there, you won't have to worry about crime, even going back and forth to school. Dainfern College (where our kids are) is indeed located right next to several estates, with private access to two of them, which is not so much a security bonus but a convenience bonus, as you won't be in traffic to get your kids there and/or they can walk or use a golf cart.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

Vinc said...

Dear Sine,

Thanks for hosting this blog , I am considering moving to SA from the UAE , I have lived in Africa ( east ) 10 years prior to moving to UAE , I am expecting a offer to move to Jburg.
My concern is below.
Does SA have schools following the British Slyabus ? I have a Grade 5 son.
Hows the security suitation down there now ?
Do they have gated communities ? and what are the average rents


Sine said...

Hi Vinc,

the only school I know of that offers the British syllabus is the British International College from above. But you will find that the SA system is somewhat comparable, there are many British expats at South African schools, many more than Americans. The security is good, especially if you live in a gated community, please read to find out more about where to live. I've written quite a few articles about security, if you just want to go to the right and look under 'categories'. Good luck!

Nana said...

Dear Sine,

Thank you for the details provided thus far. I am moving to SA from Nigeria along with my 2 sons. Would appreciate it if you could recommend any reputable primary schools in the Sandton region which are recognized for their academic excellence as well as ability to enforce good values.

In addition, please advice on the security situation in Sandton.

Thank you.

Sine said...

Hi Nana,

I don't know Sandton as well as the Northern Suburbs, but Redhill school might be the closest and a very old and reputable school. I would think St. Stithians wouldn't be that far either, depending on where in Sandton you will live. It's one of the best-known schools in Joburg, and it has both girls and boys tracks. St. John's is one of the best private boys schools in Joburg known for their academic excellence and values, and there are a couple of feeder primary schools into that (I only know Pridwin). Sandton is one of the most expensive places in Joburg and you will find plenty of high-security neighborhoods there. I don't think you will feel unsafe there, but perhaps read my article on Finding a house in Johannesburg, parts one and two: for more info on all the different areas. (click at the bottom of that link for part 2).

Sine said...

Good luck!

Nana said...

Thank you Sine, i appreciate the useful insights. Im glad i found this blog as there's much i need to know before i move. About scls, i had come across St. Johns and read about its reputation but it appears they are full for this session so il get on the waiting list and hope it works out while also considering Redhill.

I just read somewhere that the SA system admits kids into grade 1 at age 6 and im a bit concerned cause this means my kids may be stepped down by a grade. Please confirm if all schools insist on this, over here we start grade 1 by age 5 and my son is 8 and in grade 4

Sine said...

Hi Nana,
that is a very valid concern. Many South African schools insist on placing your child age-appropriately, meaning starting grade 1 at 6, like you describe. This meant for us that our kids had to stay in the same grade when they arrived, meaning they had another half year of the same grade, and now that we're back in the US, we had to make a decision whether to go back another half-grade for a total of a whole grade, or whether to jump back up ahead. That's something for you to consider, not sure how the school year in Nigeria goes. Dainfern College was not to be moved regarding their ages, even though they were all very good academically. But I've heard from other expats who had more luck with this, so it's something you'll have to negotiate with the school. One thing to do is when you go there and they test your kids whether they are "good enough" for the grade they should go into, make them test them for the next grade as well. If they are good enough for that one too, insist on them being pushed up.

Having said all that, we never regretted the placement of our kids. They ended up doing extremely well in South Africa, and it was a big boost to their self-confidence. And they didn't kill themselves with schoolwork, meaning they had tons of time for extracurricular pursuits. What's a year longer in school in the end? It doesn't really hurt. So I wouldn't put too much stock into this. But if it's a concern, talk with the prospective school ahead of time.

Dipanwita said...

Thanks Sine for such detailed blogs on almost every topic of concern to an expat. We are moving there by March'2013 & yous blogs have been of enormous help to me! They are a diamond mine of information, far better than any i have come across so far!

Sine said...

Thanks Dipanwita, I appreciate the feedback, it's so nice to hear that I've made a difference to expats moving to SA. I wish you and your family all the best, and do let me know how it goes - you can always contact me at joburgexpat at gmail dot com. Good luck with your move!

Buyi Zulu said...

Hi Sine,

I like this blog and just came across it now. Is there a huge difference between an International School and Private School. and what is the best out of the 2. Thank you

Sine said...

Thank you for stopping by. Yes, there is quite a difference between international and private schools, and I have written about it extensively here on this blog. I suggest you find the "categories" tab to the right in the "about me" box, and click on "schools" there - you will find everything I've written about South African schools there. I really can't answer your question with just a simple answer. Private school worked for us, but everybody's circumstances are different.

hina wain said...

Hi Sine,

Must appreciate this informative site. I have learned quite a lot in just a few minutes! I am also moving to SA/Joburgh in the near future. Having three kids aged 5,6 & 10 I am curious to know which grades they will be admitted to. They are in the IB system at present. We are an asian family and would love to find a school that has a good mix of nationalities.

Appreciate any feedback I can get.
Kind regards,

Sine said...

Hi Hennah - I'm glad this has been helpful for you. If you ask me, I'll always recommend a South African private school over the international ones (there is really only AISJ to consider in that group, the other ones are either French or German and probably not what you're looking for)because of the unique life experience they offer to your kids, and I believe the education system is excellent. However, if you are set on the IB program, AISJ does offer that. And you'd keep the Northern hemisphere school year, i.e. August to May, whereas going to a SA school will change that from Jan - Nov and your kids will likely have to go back a school year (or, as it is, half a school year) if they are younger for their grades. So if your ten year old is currently in grade 5 for instance, and you move to SA in August, he/she would remain in grade 5 rather than moving up to grade 6.

Sine said...

...and then would start grade 6 in January. HOpe that makes sense, let me know if you have any other questions.

ChristGrace said...

Hi sine I am in grade 11 and my school is closing at the end of the year and I take drama which is a really specific subject which schools will allow a person to do drama and then their school fees are cheap and the school has to be in Joburg.
Oh and I would like my brother to go to the same school as me and he is currently in grade 9.

Sine said...

Hi ChristGrace,

I'm so sorry I'm getting back to you so late. I"m not sure if I can be of help in any case. I don't know which schools will offer drama, I think most do, but you probably want it to be one of the matric subjects, and there I am not sure. You'd have to contact each school directly or go to their web pates. As for your brother, any "college" will have a high school from grade 8-12 so it should accommodate both you and your brother.

Sine said...

Hi ChristGrace,

I'm so sorry I'm getting back to you so late. I"m not sure if I can be of help in any case. I don't know which schools will offer drama, I think most do, but you probably want it to be one of the matric subjects, and there I am not sure. You'd have to contact each school directly or go to their web pates. As for your brother, any "college" will have a high school from grade 8-12 so it should accommodate both you and your brother.

Dodge War said...

Hello Sine

You might want to add Charter College to your list of private, international schools in Johannesburg.
They are in Honeydew, North West of greater Johannesburg. They offer Cambridge qualifications from Grade 8 up to A- Levels. Excellent teachers and professional environment with a wide subject choice. Quite a few international students from various countries. Cambridge Registered.

Yvette Coulson said...


looking for an all girls private school from primary to high school. any ideas/im from durban and dont know schools up here.

Sine said...

Hi Yvette,

I'm sorry I'm so late with my response.You asked about all girls schools, and I don't know much about them. I believe Brescia House is a girls school, not sure how far up it goes. St. Mary's is also a girls school, but not sure if it is only high school or below that. St. Stithian's has a girls and boys track, so that might be an option for you?

The best bet to find more is with these two links I had posted in another blog post about schools - ISASA is the association of independent private schools and they maintain an up to date list of all the private schools by area. Visit or for more information on South African education.

Hope that helps!

Marco Benvenuti said...

What about St David's Marist Inanda. Why is it not only the list when it is one of the top 3 best and most prestigious schools in Johannesburg, with St Stithians and St Johns, the other 2?

Sine said...

Marco, simply because I'd never heard of it before! I"d be happy to add it though if you want to give me some details in the same format as on this list? I haven't been able to update this from when I wrote it several years ago, as I no longer live in South AFrica and am not apprised of everything as much as I used to be:-) It does look like a great school. It's all boys, right?

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