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school categories

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South African schools are categorized as follows :

  • Primary schools (grade R to grade 7)
  • R is the “reception grade”, the year before grade 1, during which time little ones are prepared for the formal schooling to follow.
  • Secondary schools (grade 8 to grade 12),
  • Secondary schools are schools that offer any number of primary grades and secondary grades up to Grade 10, 11 or 12.
  • Intermediate and middle schools are schools that offer grades 7 to 9
  • Independent schools are private schools
  • Public schools in South Africa are funded by the state

Section 20 and Section 21 schools

The provincial education department can decide to give additional management functions to school governing bodies that function well and have proved that they are capable of improving their schools.

The South African Schools Act identifies two kinds of schools:  Section 20 and Section 21 schools.  Section 21 schools have greater powers and responsibilities than Section 20 schools.

  • Section 20 schools receive allocations of textbooks and stationery from government.  They also have their lights and water accounts paid directly by government.  When something is broken at the school, the Education Department must send someone from Public Works to do the repairs
  • Section 21 Schools are allocated finances by the department and are responsible for ordering stationery, textbooks, paying water and lights accounts and undertaking their own maintenance.  They can also decide on what subjects the school can offer and what sports and other extramural activities the learners can take.

EMIS number = Education Management Information System number (School ID number)