Dear Kyalami Schools (NPC) Community
It is difficult to believe that we are already at the end of the Academic year and that 2018 is all but over. The year has been another successful one for the Kyalami Group of Schools. We have continued to position ourselves as schools of choice for the communities that we serve, and have invested in our offering in order to strengthen our products; academic, cultural and sporting alike. It remains our strategic objective to continue to:
I am proud of the Group of Schools that we are and I am excited about the direction in which we are heading. Our NPC status protects us on two very important fronts, namely, that we are able to invest 100% of any surplus funding we may generate back into the development of our Schools, and, that we are not for sale to one of the for-profit commercial chain Groups. The vulnerability of an NPC, however, is that we do not have invested shareholders in our School and so we rely solely on fees that we collect to continue to operate our Schools. In this regard, my thanks go to you, the parents of our pupils for investing in your child’s education and affording us the opportunity of having them in our Schools.
I am pleased to note that we remain most oversubscribed at our key enrolment Grades of Grade 0, Grade 1 and Grade 8. The Group has operated on a budgeted figure of 1570 pupils for 2018 and we have consistently remained above 99% full throughout the course of the year. We will move into 2019 in an equally strong position, with confirmed enrolments for 2019 totalling 1614 pupils against a budgeted capacity of 1628 pupils for the Group. The reason for the continued growth of pupil numbers is due to both Beaulieu Prep and Beaulieu College having an additional stream (class) of pupils moving through their respective systems. We anticipate the current growth phase to stabilise in 2020.
Along with our healthy pupil numbers at our ‘key entry’ points, we are also proud to announce that for a second year running, we have retained more than 75% of our Grade 7s from BPS and KPS, into Beaulieu College. We have found that our own pupils find the transition into high school significantly easier than those who come from schools outside of our Group. The lead on effect of retaining large numbers of our own pupils is the excellent academic record that Beaulieu College carries as a School.
For 2019, we have been able to contain our School fee increase to 7%, a figure that is below the national Education Price Index. We are aware that many of our families are operating in difficult financial circumstances, and take this into consideration when we balance what it is that we require in order to maintain our world class offering, against the fees that we charge. This increase keeps us inside the 25th percentile for fee increase for 2019, meaning that the majority of private schools have raised their fees by more than our increase, and in some cases above the 10% mark. Our School fees also remain an all-in payment and we are one of the few Schools who are able to offer this. We do not charge additional fees for a number of items, including educational outings, sport and cultural activities, transport, IT licensing, text books, stationery or bench mark testing (both national and international).
While we never like to see a child or family leave our Group, the reality is that for many South Africans, emigration has been in their plans for a number of years. Out of all the children who have left our Schools in 2018, the majority of those are due to relocation, either nationally or abroad.
2018 saw us appoint PWC as our external auditing firm. The move was to ensure a more robust examination of our financial management and governance systems. It has also afforded us a thorough testing of our operations. PWC has asked us to review only 2 aspects as part of the audit, which we will begin to address in 2019. These relate to how we have been recognizing revenue deriving from Development Levies in the applicable year and how we have been expensing capital items in the year of purchase. Neither of these accounting practices is unusual for Schools, especially those that fall into the NPC category, as we do. Through the process of the audit we have identified areas of potential vulnerability that have now been, or will now be, addressed as mandated by our Board of Directors.
My sincere thanks go to the Board of Directors, who work tirelessly on behalf of the Group on a pro-bono basis in support of our Schools. To Dr Herb Chikwanda (Chairman), Adv. Fay Mukkadam, Mr Andrew Meerburg, Mr Andrew Sheard and Mr Andries Delport, we are in your debt for the work that you continue to do to ensure our standing and progress as an educational institution. To the invited members of the Board, the Heads of Schools, I thank you for your service to our Group, to your teams and to your pupils. To Mrs Hillen, Mrs Meikle and Mr Hala, thank you for another wonderful and successful year.
I have had the absolute privilege of getting to know the teams at our respective campuses a little better in 2018, as part of my new role. I am inspired by the work that all of you do for, and with our children. What is most evident at our schools is both the care shown for each and every child, and your motivation to engage in best practice and innovation in the delivery of your respective curricula. Thank you, teachers, for your continued commitment to your Schools and to your pupils. Schools do not run themselves, and we have a wonderful group of administrative and auxiliary staff members who work across our Group, both at the campuses and at our Shared Service Centre. Thank you for the behind the scenes work that is carried out, often unseen, which allows us to perform our primary role of being a ‘Community of Schools Producing Global Achievers’.
To all of our families and to our communities in general, I wish you a restful holiday. If you are traveling, please do so safely. To the pupils of our Schools, have a wonderful break, sleep late, read lots, get outdoors so that you can come back rested and ready for 2019. Lastly, to our Matric class of 2018, be happy. I wish you every success for both your final marks and for whatever it is that you will doing from next year.
A member of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (ISASA), Independent Examination Board (IEB),
Southern African Heads of Independent Schools Association (SAHISA). Accredited by Umalusi
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