Is Your Child Getting the Education They Deserve? A Guide to Choosing the Right School

Is Your Child Getting the Education They Deserve? A Guide to Choosing the Right School
Jacqueline Aitchison, Founder and Executive Head at Education Incorporated

Is Your Child’s School Delivering on Its Promise? What to Look for Before You Enrol

A recent incident with a prominent private school revealed only a 50% matric pass rate, disappointing parents who paid substantial fees for quality education. Despite the school’s claims of following the ‘Cambridge curriculum,’ issues like understaffing and unqualified teachers went unnoticed until it was too late.

Choosing a private school is complex, with numerous options available. Private education in South Africa has grown significantly, driven by a decline in confidence in public schools and a desire for higher-quality education.

Beyond Marketing – Finding the Right Fit

Selecting the right school involves more than marketing promises. It requires thorough research to ensure a school meets your child’s needs.

Critical Considerations for Choosing a Private School

1. Reputation and History: A school’s performance in national exams reflects its ability to foster student success. Leadership vision and strategy are crucial for new schools.

2. Educational Staff: Quality education is linked to faculty expertise. Ideal staff includes both new teachers with fresh ideas and experienced educators. All must be properly qualified and vetted.

3. Leadership: Effective leadership is accessible and responsive, fostering a nurturing and inclusive environment.

4. Curriculum and Teaching Approach: A strong curriculum promotes critical thinking and adaptability. Support in choosing elective subjects after Grade 9 is essential for future planning.

5. Accreditation: A school’s accreditation ensures it meets educational standards. Verify registration with the Provincial Department of Education and Umalusi accreditation to ensure legitimacy.

Understanding Registration and Accreditation for Private Schools

Jacqueline Aitchison, Founder and Executive Head at Education Incorporated, and head of the Professional Development of Heads for SAHISA Central Region, as well as a member of the executive committee for the South African Heads of Independent Schools for the Central Region, emphasises the importance of choosing a school that is legally sound, properly accredited, and sustainable. She states, “When parents pick a school, they should look for more than good academic results or tempting facilities. They should search for a place that deeply values being legally sound, properly accredited, and deeply sustainable.” Before enrolling your child, confirm the school’s registration with the Provincial Department of Education and its accreditation status with Umalusi or progress towards it. These steps ensure the school operates legally and adheres to quality standards.

Registration with the Department of Education

Registration with the Provincial Department of Education verifies the school’s legal operation, ensuring adherence to basic educational standards.

Accreditation by Umalusi For private schools offering the CAPs curriculum and the National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, Umalusi accreditation is vital. This ensures qualified teachers, a compliant curriculum, and recognised matric qualifications.

Cambridge International Examination Board A legitimate Cambridge School must be registered with Cambridge International Examinations. Verify this status on the Cambridge website to ensure the school’s claims are genuine.

Independent Examinations Board (IEB) The IEB is known for rigorous academic standards. Schools opting for IEB over traditional NSC exams must be accredited by Umalusi. The IEB’s standards prepare students for future academic challenges.

Membership in Educational Associations Membership in associations like the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA) adds credibility, indicating adherence to standards and ethical practices.

The South African Council for Educators (SACE) Ensure all teachers are registered with SACE, confirming their qualifications and commitment to professional standards.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right school for your child is a significant decision. You can ensure your child receives a quality education by thoroughly investigating the school’s reputation, staff qualifications, leadership, curriculum, and accreditation. Researching and verifying these aspects will help you make an informed decision, providing your child with a solid foundation for future success.



About Education Incorporated

Founded in 2013 by Gershom and Jacqueline Aitchison, Education Incorporated is a boutique school offering personalised learning that nurtures individual growth and academic excellence. With a focus on high academic standards and respect for teachers, Edu Inc creates an environment where individuality shines, curiosity thrives, and learning never stops.

Our mission is to educate and nurture children into the future’s thought leaders by fostering meaningful relationships between students and exceptional teachers. We provide a relevant and engaging learning experience, both in physical and digital classrooms, ensuring full engagement wherever our students are located.


Every child leaves Edu Inc as an independent, confident, thinking young adult, ready to follow their dreams and shape the future.

Core Values:

• Actions and decisions are based on the best interests of the children.

• Every experience is a teaching and learning opportunity.

• We nurture the well-being and development of children through the integration of IQ, EQ, and AQ.

• We engage in “big-picture” thinking to develop perspective, creative problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

• We encourage and facilitate acceptance, respect, and tolerance in both physical and digital worlds.

Join us on our journey as we continue to inspire students to push boundaries, develop critical skills, and unlock their full potential every day.