5 June 2017


In absolute Rand (ZAR) terms, South African parents should not forget the privilege of being able to afford private schools fees for the education of their children. But for local and international students contemplating enrolment into the Cambridge International A-level programme, there is a wide choice of schools in different countries offering the Cambridge syllabus.

Surely, the quality of teachers, and relative value for money offered by a school will be important factors in the choice of where to study… and so, how does Somerset College stack up on these two measures?

I compared basic A-level student fees of the College, with a highly respected private school in Surrey, England. In round terms, a student at Somerset College will pay R 10 000 a month for tuition fees. At current exchange rates, the monthly fee rate at the school in Surrey is over R 34 000 – almost 3.5 times more expensive than Somerset College!

At the recent parent/teacher evening, I was struck by the outstanding quality of the staff engaged in the Cambridge programme. Without exception, each tutor was crisp of thought, focussed, and smart. Their detailed knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of each student under their care was evident. This is a group of teachers undeniably ‘up there’ with top international standards.

Combine these qualities, with below average student to teacher number ratios in the classroom, and, for the diligent student, you have the ingredients for a wonderful education with excellent grounding for university education.

What would you prefer :-

Warm beer, cold weather, and expensive tuition fees in the United Kingdom, or cold beer, warm weather, and (relatively) affordable school fees at Somerset College, surrounded by wine and stud farms?

Some choices in life are easier to make than others!

Ian Morris (father of Jacques, a SCCP student)