Private School Registration In South Africa

What is a Private School?

A private school is a school not administered or funded by the government, unlike a public school.

Private schools are schools that are not dependent upon national or local government to finance their financial endowment. 

Private School Registration In South Africa

An individual or business can apply to register an independent school with the Gauteng Department of Education

Who may apply?

According to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Section 29 (3), everyone has a right to establish Independent Educational Institutions. Section 45 (1) of the South African Schools Act states that: “Subject to this Act and any applicable provincial law, any person may, at his or her own cost, establish and maintain an Independent School​

How to apply?

  • ​The application for the registration of an Independent School is submitted to the Director for Independent Schools at the Gauteng Department of Education Head Office, 6 Hollard Building, 17 Simmonds Street, Marshalltown, Johannesburg, on or before 1 April preceding the year in which the school wants to operate.                                                        
  • All applications must be accompanied by the required documents as outlined in Annexure A of the Provincial Gazette Extraordinary 308 of 2013, General Notice No. 2919 of 2013.
  • The Director for Independent Schools conducts a desktop assessment, evaluates the site where the school is intended to operate and then make a recommendation.
  • The application is then sent to the Systems Unit at Head Office.    
  • A submission is then generated and circulated to all senior managers for recommendation and then to the Head of Department (HOD) who will then approve the application or disapprove.        
  • If the application is approved, an EMIS registration No. is obtained from EMIS.
  • The school and the relevant District office is then informed of the registration of the school in question.
  • ​If the application is rejected by the Head of Department, then the school is informed of the rejection and the reasons thereof.​


Annexure A of the Provincial Gazette Extraordinary 308 of 2013, General Notice No. 2919 of 2013.​


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How to check if a private school is registered in South Africa?

Parents can find a list of registered schools on the department website ( “Also note that learners who attend illegally operating schools are not certified,” says Mabona.

With a private school, parents may interact or verify with the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa).