The journey through SA schools
Each year more than 1 million new pupils start their formal schooling in grade 1. Over the next 12 years the numbers will drop off as many fail or leave school. Eventually around half of those children who started grade 1 will have reached grade 12. While the decline in numbers is mostly consistent between grades there is an exception: grade 10. Many pupils seem to reach and then remain their for a while, probably repeating the grade a few times. Many of them drop out entirely so the numbers of students in grade 11 and 12 plummet.
In the table below you can view the number of pupils enrolled in each grade from 2007 to 2022. If you hover or click on a block you can see the progression for that cohort from the earlier grades onwards.
Hover or click on the table to see how many students progress.
The progression of children through school is more obvious in the chart below. The pattern of steady decline in grade numbers runs until grade 10 when it rises sharply. This is where some learners get "stuck". Many of them will drop out of school at this point and the grade 11 and 12 numbers drop by around 30% from their grade 10 peak.
This has been a consistent pattern for many years. In 2018 we took a closer look at this pattern and how it converted to tertiary education and future prospects.
Hover or click on the chart for more detail.