Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and brands itself “Africa’s most powerful economy”, responsible for generating almost a fifth of the nation’s wealth. Multinationals with offices in the city include Coca-Cola, Unilever and Nestlé.
Expats will find a meagre international schools offering: there are just three main choices.
Some international parents send their children to good local independent schools, teaching South Africa’s Independent Examinations Board (IEB) curriculum. While many are highly rated, pupils following the IEB may find it harder to move to schools overseas compared with those who have followed the better-known international curricula.
Learn Around 1,200 pupils aged four to 18 attend the coeducational American International School of Johannesburg (AISJ) in the city’s suburban north. A quarter of them are American. Students follow the US curriculum until the final two grades, when most opt for the international baccalaureate diploma. In 2016, the average IB diploma score was 34/45, compared with the global average of 30.07/45. Student destinations include Ivy League US colleges and UK red-brick universities. It is the most expensive international option by a distance.
Pay* R362,195 a year ($26,688)
Live In a five-bedroom house on the Saddlebrook Estate, which backs on to the 80-acre AISJ campus. There is a swimming pool, built-in aquarium and a separate one-bedroom cottage.
Available through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, R34.95m ($2.6m)
British (national curriculum of England)
Learn The British International College (BIC) is a coeducational secondary school for 13 to 18-year-olds located in the affluent residential suburb of Bryanston. Pupils follow the Cambridge International Examinations syllabus for GCSEs and A-levels. There is currently a waiting list for the sister prep school, which takes children from the age of three.
Pay R137,000 a year ($10,608)
Live A five-bedroom family house with a gym, tennis court and separate staff quarters is a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk from BIC.
Available through Christies International Real Estate, R24m ($1.8m)
Learn Lycée Français Jules Verne is situated just north of Sandton, the city’s financial district where many multinationals are based. Boys and girls follow the French curriculum from nursery through to Grade 12. Classes are taught in French and English, and international and American options are available to baccalaureate candidates to help smooth transitions to US and other non-French universities.
Pay R74,400 a year ($5,494)
Live A substantial five-bedroom house, with more than 3,500 sq ft of living space is about 10 minutes’ drive from the school and from Sandton’s gleaming towers and shops.
Available through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, R25m ($1.8m)
The coeducational Michael Mount Waldorf School is a mile from the British International School in Bryanston. Its 680 pupils (it has room for 800), aged three to 18, are immersed in the controversial Steiner method renowned for its holistic, child-centred learning. Classes are taught in English and annual fees peak at R92,928.
*Fees typically increase as the child moves up the school. The figure given is the average annual cost of tuition for final year students, and does not include additional payments such as registration fees.
Photographs: Martin Harvey/Alamy; Greatstock/Alamy