Posted: Wednesday, 8th January 2014
How should I choose an independent school for my child?
Make use of the ISASA School Finder website (www.isasaschoolfinder.co.za) to search, using a range of criteria, for a school which seems most likely to satisfy the needs of your child. The search criteria include age range, location, single sex or co-ed, boarding or day school etc. The website details also set out the fee range for each school - including boarding fees where appropriate.
The website will generate a list of suitable schools which you can then compare to draw up your own shortlist. Contact the schools you have selected and arrange a visit and an interview with the head or senior staff to find out whether the school’s ethos, values and mission will be a good fit for your child’s personality, needs and talents.
Please remember that there is no such thing as the ‘top school’ or the ‘best school’ for all children: parents should choose the school that best suits their child.What does the ISASA brand mean?
ISASA’s brand is a hallmark of high standards of educational and ethical practice. Quality
characterise its membership. Not all schools can become members of ISASA because its conditions for membership are rigorous. These include on-site inspections and commitment to a code of ethical practice.Quality:
No matter its type or fee-level, an ISASA member school has been quality assured before it is accepted for ISASA membership, and every six years thereafter by the Independent Quality Assurance Agency.Values:
ISASA schools have a strong values base, providing sound discipline in a structured learning environment, where pupils learn the importance of hard work, personal responsibility and shared norms. Ethical education, community service and responsible citizenship are promoted among ISASA member schools.Diversity:
ISASA’s growing and diverse membership provides parents with a wide choice. Members represent all school phases (from pre-primary to post matric). They include religious and secular, traditional and alternative, day and boarding, single-sex and co-educational, rural and urban, large and small, local and international, and old and new schools.
ISASA is committed to promoting transformation and diversity in the organisation and within its members. An ISASA school must publicly display its membership certificate which indicates that it has “committed itself to a democratic, non-discriminatory society and a school community based on fairness and diversity”.Affordability:
The wide range of fee-levels among ISASA schools makes them
increasingly affordable to many families. In 2012 about 30% of its members charge tuition fees of more than R45 000 per year; 50% between R15 000 and R45 000; and 20% between R1 900 and R15 000.Why choose an ISASA school?
ISASA members share important common features:
- Safe, structured, nurturing learning environments with good discipline, sound values and pastoral care.
- Individual attention for pupils in smaller classes than public schools.
- Committed, high-quality teachers with strong subject knowledge.
- High academic standards: On average across all fee levels, independent schools produce a higher percentage of senior certificate passes and BD (university entrance) passes than public schools. ISASA schools strive to provide an excellent, world class education that focuses on developinghigh-level competencies in languages, mathematics, science and technology, as well as critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills.
- Choice of school-leaving examinations:Most ISASA members offer the National Senior Certificate examinations of the state or those of the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) that are based on the South African curriculum. International examinations are offered at some schools, such as the Cambridge International examinations or the International Baccalaureate.
- Range of curricular options and extracurricular activities:Member schools are noted for their value-adding, holistic education aimed at developing the whole child.
- Special focus: Some schools cater well for the gifted child, while others accommodate those with physical or learning challenges; some have a strong focus on mathematics and science, while others are known for their excellence in the arts or sport.
- Freedom to introduce innovative approaches to teaching and learning and develop and test new educational concepts.
- Community service opportunities which promote the ethic of service and responsible citizenship.
- International links with independent schools in other parts of the world, allowing pupils to participate in global events and exchanges.
- Access to support: An ISASA school is not alone. It receives substantial support from ISASA’s services and peer groups within a collegial community.
For more information visit the ISASA website (www.isasa.org) or contact ISASA by phone on: +27 11 648 1331 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org