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Several students in uniforms stand outside Apex High School, a no-fee public school supported by Acorn Education

Acorn Education Nurtures No-Fee Schools in South Africa

Project Overview

In South Africa today, the quality of education a child receives is typically predetermined by the amount of money their families can afford to spend on schooling. This limits access to quality instruction for the disadvantaged majority of the country.

Acorn Education is tackling this challenge by partnering with no-fee public schools to provide excellent education and equal opportunity for more children. The nonprofit aims to improve outcomes by helping its network of schools — no matter the socio-economic status of the students – to unlock and achieve their full potential to become all they can be. The Western Cape Education Department is a key strategic partner in these efforts.

These schools have the ability to transform lives, impact social and economic conditions and become beacons of hope in their communities.

Anco Booysen, Acorn Education CEO

How it Helps

The Acorn team has a clear and consistent focus on learner enrichment and opportunities that may not traditionally be available in a no-fee school. Acorn’s approach to school improvement includes high expectations, more time on task, enrichment programs, holistic learner development, professional staff development, and data-driven instruction.

The Acorn approach is different than most educational models in no-fee public schools — here are some examples. The schools in the Acorn network use extended school days to give teachers more time educating their students in language and math, two areas in which they commonly struggle. Leadership and teacher development are a key priority, with a focus on instructional coaching and professional development that help educators increase learner understanding. The schools subscribe to a data-driven instructional approach, with an emphasis on student progress instead of course completion. Lastly, the Acorn team believes in well-rounded learner development, so they provide sporting activities and counseling services to further support students.

Acorn’s growing network of no-fee public schools in Cape Town includes:

  • Forest Village Leadership Academy (primary school)
  • Apex High School
  • Apex Primary School

As a relatively new organization, the Acorn team is committed to nurturing the potential in every learner by nurturing their school to reach its own potential, too.

Foundation Project Lead