The independent school sector is growing at a rapid rate in Gauteng Province. The preliminary findings from Gauteng EMIS database shows that in 2016, there were almost 865 independent schools which constitute 38% of all schools in Gauteng Province. Independent Schools make up more than a quarter (28%) of all schools in Gauteng and Independent Non-Subsidised Schools constitute one-fifth (20%) of all schools in the province.
The Sector is growing at a faster rate than the public schooling system although by way of learner numbers - 88% of all learners in Gauteng still attend public schools. The growth of independent schools arises out of communities’ needs and values. Unmet demand comes from all population groups and it is very strong in Gauteng because of the annual influx of learners from other provinces and immigrants from the rest of Africa.
Without substantive independence there will be no real choice for parents who want a different education from that which the state can provide. Therefore, the role played by the sector cannot be ignored.
The fifth Strategic Plan 2015 - 2020 Strategic Plan has been developed by the Gauteng Department of Education since the integration of different education system (ex-DET, Ex-HoA, Ex-HOR and Ex-HOD schools) into a single education system. The success of this plan depends on active involvement of different stakeholders including independent schools.
The aims and objectives of the conceptual framework are to:
Governance is described as a manner in which power is exercised and managed in pursuit of social, political and economic objectives.
Although the department recognizes that progress has been made in dealing with social cohesion issues, the following social cohesion issues continue to confront schools:
While independent schools have a right to follow a curriculum of their choice, they may be registered with official foreign curriculum providers and/or examination boards such as Cambridge or Curriculum and Assessment Policy.