LEAP Science and Maths Schools

LEAP Science and Maths Schools are a chain of no-fee independent high schools offering high quality education to young, underprivileged South Africans living in high-need communities and providing the academic and life skills they need to become future leaders.
Year launched: 
2004
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CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
LEAP Science and Maths Schools

Location Data

State/Province: 
Gauteng, Limpopo, Western Cape
City: 
Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Jane Furse
Geography type: 
Program Description: 

LEAP Science and Maths Schools provide free education to underprivileged secondary school students from township communities. The schools require only a nominal fee from students, and otherwise are funded primarily by private donors. LEAP has opened six, independent, no-fee schools thus far:

  • LEAP 1: The first LEAP school, serves the community of Langa on the Cape Flats.
  • LEAP 2: Serves the townships of Gugulethu and Crossroads.
  • LEAP 3: Serves Johannesburg’s historic Alexandra township.
  • LEAP 4: Serves the growing township of Diepsloot outside Johannesburg.
  • LEAP 5: Serves the Jane Furse community in Limpopo.
  • LEAP 6: Serves the community of Ga-Rankuwa, near Pretoria.

The LEAP curriculum focuses particularly on science, mathematics, and English, aiming to provide students with skills that will prepare them for a successful future. A strong focus of the curriculum is also to foster self-confidence, as well as cultural and communal identity, characteristics that are sought by engaging students in community work and setting high expectations for their academic performance. Most of them also teach some of South Africa's home languages as well, including isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, and Sesotho, depending on the prevalence of those languages within the school's context. 

Community partnerships are also a key part of LEAP’s holistic approach. Each of the six schools are partnered with a more privileged school, as well as other township schools in the region, to ensure that schools are able to share resources, opportunities and best practices. LEAP schools operate on an extended school day, 9-hour days, and include Saturday classes as well as formal holiday programs. Class sizes are limited in order to ensure that students have accountability and relationships are built within the classroom. 

LEAP is a founding member of the South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition (SAESC)a group of intervention-based independent and public schools and organizations committed to providing quality education to socio-economically vulnerable children and advocating for increased government support.