Short description

LEAP seeks to provide learners from disadvantaged communities with the opportunity to receive quality education with an emphasis on mathematics, science and English.


Despite the size of our education budget (larger than most developing and many developed countries in the world), South Africa is ranked 132nd out of 144 countries for primary education and 143 for maths and science by the World Economic Forum.
Although some progress in maths and science has been made, some 90% of our schools are still failing to meet the minimum performance standards in these subjects. In 2012, maths pass rates nationally were 54%, up from 46.3%, and physical science rose to 61.3% from 53.4%. Twenty percent of schools produce 80% of South Africa’s university students. One in 10 white South Africans get an A-aggregate matric while the ratio for black students is 1 in 1000.
South Africa needs educated, skilled and literate citizens to help it grow and thrive.


LEAP has been operating since January 2004. LEAP currently operates six no-fee independent schools for young people from disadvantaged areas across South Africa. LEAP provides high quality education with double contact time in key subjects (maths, science and English). This is combined with focussed personal and emotional intervention to support learners to address their personal challenges and develop the life skills they need to get through university and into productive careers.

LEAP Schools’ model is based on the following key characteristics:

  • Recruitment and testing of children with potential from selected high-need township communities
  • Provision of free and high-quality education fully aligned to the national curriculum
  • All students study mathematics, physical science and English
  • An extended school day (nine hours) as well as Saturday classes and holiday programmes
  • Encouragement of self-awareness, confidence and personal development
  • Engagement of students in community work and activities that affirm cultural identity
  • Smaller classes and schools to support accountability and help build relationships

LEAP SA is a network of LEAP past students helping each other and working together to create positive change within their lives and communities.

The LEAP Future Leaders Programme works to make teaching inspirational and accessible for young graduates

What we like about this organisation

  • LEAP School is providing free education to students with potential from high-need communities.
  • Design: Learners are instilled with a sense of responsibility and a consciousness around changing and uplifting their own communities.
  • Sustainability: They have achieved strong results over an extended period of time and they continue to track students into employment through a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system.

What difference can your money make?

  • R10 000 will fund stationery for a whole grade of students at LEAP
  • R250 000 will fund a teacher’s salary
  • R750 000 will pay for the education of a class of students at LEAP for one year (20 students)

Volunteering opportunities

  • PR skills and experience
  • Advice on HR, fundraising and legal matters
  • Tutoring in Johannesburg
  • Mentoring alumni