When it comes to education and schools in Johannesburg, expats will have plenty of choice. There are many government-run public schools of varying quality, independent private schools as well as international schools. The majority of expats send their children to private or international schools in and around the city.

The waiting lists for the best schools in Johannesburg can be long, and expats are advised to apply as far in advance as possible if they want their children to attend their school of choice.

Public schools in Johannesburg

Some government schools in Johannesburg have excellent track records. However, those supported solely by government funding are generally understaffed and have limited resources. The better public schools are those that obtain additional funding from fee-paying parents, alumni donations and governing bodies.

Though these schools are still limited to offering the standard South African curriculum, the quality of education and facilities is higher than at regular public schools. Parents will have to pay fees at these institutions, but the prices are much lower than those of private and international schools.

Private schools in Johannesburg

There are a number of good options for private schools in Johannesburg. As they are funded privately, they have more freedom in terms of what curriculum they offer. Many private schools teach through the lens of a particular religion, such as Catholicism, or an alternative educational philosophy, like Montessori.

Many private schools have excellent academic standards as well as a wide range of extra-curricular activities, all taking place within pristine facilities. Fees at these schools can be high, though they are generally lower than international school fees.

International schools in Johannesburg

There are a handful of international schools in Johannesburg serving the expat population. These schools offer foreign curricula such as those of the UK, the US or the International Baccalaureate.

The main advantage of international schools is that they allow expat children to continue with a familiar, globally recognised curriculum. They're also an ideal place for both children and parents to make friends with other expat families. Though fees are high and waiting lists long, most parents agree that the quality of education is well worth it.

Special needs education in Johannesburg

In light of the extremely limited resources of public schooling in Johannesburg, we advise parents of children with special needs to make use of the private education sector instead.

Some mainstream private schools offer extra support while giving the child the benefit of mixing with a greater number of peers. However, not all mainstream schools are equal in this regard – some schools offer more support and are more experienced with special-needs children than others. If more specialised and individualised support is needed, there are a number of private schools catering specifically to children with special educational needs.

Tutors in Johannesburg

Tutors in South Africa are most frequently used when a child is having trouble with a particular subject, or in the run-up to major assessment periods such as the matric final exams. Expats may find tutors useful for purposes such as learning a new language, maintaining a mother tongue, and catching up to an unfamiliar curriculum.

Reputable companies include Brightsparkz Tutors and Goodie Tutors, both of which offer one-on-one in-person or online tutoring based on the needs of the client.

Expat Health Insurance

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Moving your family abroad can be intimidating, but learning about medical options such as family health insurance early on can help you settle successfully.

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  • 24/7 multilingual Customer Service

Get a quote from Cigna Global (10% off family health plans in June)

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