The Performance of Low Fee Independent Schools in South Africa - What Can Available Data Tell?
Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers No. 01/2017. Stellenbosch.
30 Pages Posted: 28 May 2017
Date Written: 2017
This study analysed grade 6 and grade 9 mathematics data from the Annual National Assessment by comparing school performance in public and independent schools in three geographical regions: Western Cape, Gauteng and South Africa as a whole. The aim was to see whether low-fee independent schools outperform public schools i) for schools which have similar school fees and ii) for schools which have similar resources, which is the sum of school fees and government subsidies.
Our analysis indicates that independent primary schools, in all three geographical regions, are able to use resources more efficiently and are thus able to translate resources into better performance. However, when comparing schools in similar school fee brackets, the findings are mixed and vary by geographical area: sending a child to an independent primary school in Gauteng is worthwhile, whereas it is not worthwhile in the Western Cape.
Keywords: education, low fee schools, private schools, independent schools, South Africa
JEL Classification: I21, I24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation