“High value” , “high performance”, “low cost” and “good value” are all good ways to describe the schools SAILI works with. We decided to call them WINNING schools.

There are a number of scholarship programmes nationally and in the Western Cape: superficially they look the same. Crudely we do the same things.

  1. Select students
  2. Select schools
  3. Support students in schools

Scholarship providers tend to focus on selecting and supporting students with fairly limited thought going to the selection of schools within which to place scholars. There are a number of reasons for this but the gist is that this is one of SAILI’s main strengths.

We are motivated to run as many scholars as possible which means we need to keep our costs per scholar as low as possible. The main direct cost is school fees.

School selection Step 1 – Rough analysis

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Schools of interest

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Tragic zone

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Diminishing returns

The graph above shows the bachelors pass rate(BTW this used to be called Matric exemption and bachelors pass allows application to university) for all Western Cape Schools for 2019. We have deliberately removed the school names to focus on the general trend.

We can clearly see that the pass rate increases dramatically as fees increase.

What is not quite so visible above but is below is the extent to which no-fee schools service the vast majority of students in the Western Cape.

We look for high performance outliers here and identify those with low costs. School that offer “bang for buck” will be on the top left corner.

It is very clear that additional spend makes a difference – this is why there is such a demand for places in “good schools”.

There is a clear diminishing return when it comes to academic performance as is shown on the first scatterplot. There may well be a value add for this additional spend but if ones motivation is simply a bachelors pass the value curve maxes out at around R25k. The lower cost outliers are much more interesting than the diminishing academic return at high cost.

School selection Step 2 – Geographical review

We don’t pay for transport. WINNING SCHOOLS with need to be geographically accessible to the students we select. We look for a fit between the scholar recruitment catchment area and our WINNING SCHOOLS.

The WCED has a helpful website that shows the location of each school and the subjects they offer for Grade 10-12.

A quick look at this data will help us to build our profile for a school of interest.

  • We are also asking a few other questions at this stage.
  • Do the numbers per grade decline from Grade 10-12? This would suggest drop-out.
  • Is there a reasonable enrollement in Maths and Physics? We insist our scholars take these subjects.
  • Are there many subjects with very low enrollment? Suggests lack of focus.

https://wcedemis.westerncape.gov.za/wced/findaschool.html

Once we have identified schools that are worth profiling, we request their National Senior Certificate Summary report. This is given to every school that writes the matric exams and shows the distribution of performance per subject.

This report is a single page and gives us the remaining information we need to finalise our decision to partner with a school.

School selection Step 3 – Individual school profiling

Once we have identified schools that are worth profiling, we request their National Senior Certificate Summary report. This is given to every school that writes the matric exams and shows the distribution of performance per subject.

This report is a single page and gives us the remaining information we need to finalise our decision to partner with a school.

The screenshot above is from the National Senior Certificate Summary Report from an elite government school in Cape Town. This gives an idea of the kind of performance one can get from our very top schools. Here even the weakest students do well.

The distribution of performance is not “normal”. It is profoundly skewed towards high performance but comes at high cost.

SAILI is interested in schools with a normal performance distribution and modest fees, we want bang for buck and would like to avoid paying for the “frills”.

Here is our list of WINNING SCHOOLS

School and location Bachelor Pass RateNotes
South Peninsula,
Diep River
74% Stable performance over a number of years and strong results for maths and physics. This bachelor pass was unusually low.
Rylands,
Athlone
58%Bachelor pass has historically been over 70% with reasonable results for maths and physics. This school needs to be watched carefully.
Claremont,
Claremont
85%Stable performance over a number of years and strong results for maths and physics.
Bergvliet,
Bergvliet
80%Stable performance over a number of years and reasonable results for maths and physics. This school has had some problems with one of their physics teachers however that staff member has left.
Spine Rd
Mitchells Plain
79%This school is new on SAILI’s books and has shown an upward bachelor pass trajectory over a number of years as well as satisfactory maths and physics performance.
Milnerton,
Milnerton
86%Stable performance over a number of years and reasonable results for maths and physics.
Pinelands,
Pinelands
82%Stable performance over a number of years and reasonable results for maths and physics.
The Settlers,
Bellville
79%Stable performance over a number of years and reasonable results for maths and physics.
De Kuilen,
Kuils River
69%Stable performance over a number of years and reasonable results for maths and physics. No learners are placed here at present.
Worcester Gimnasium,
Worcester
81%Stable performance over a number of years and reasonable results for maths and physics. This is a new SAILI school.

Explainer – not all our WINNING SCHOOLS are low cost.

There are two types of schools in the table above.

Some of them are low cost and in these we pay full fees.

Most of our scholars attend these schools.

But, there are areas where low cost schools with the kind of performance we need simply don’t exist.  In these areas, we have negotiated generous fee discounts with schools provided that our scholars apply for fee exemption with them.