Ok – so I recently discovered the Department of Basic Education has what is called the Master List of schools available for download on its site.
I have been poking at this and while it has a lot of data, most of it is structural: stating what district, circuit etc a school is in. No performance data here or segmentation of students by grade which would give one a sense of perspective on attrition but, nevertheless it is an interesting data source for looking at the South African schooling system and with the right tools and some time can be a useful supporting resource.
Working in Tableau, I have put together this very high level view – showing the sheer number of schools in the system, their province, whether they are primary, secondary or combined (some schools run all the way through) as well as their size.
I am still getting the feel for what this source offers as well as how to display this on-line but do expect to post more open data here as I become more familiar with both the tools and data.