Sparrow Schools

Sparrow Schools aims to see that children with barriers to learning are equipped with education and skills through targeted curriculum and support.
1989South Africa

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting

Location Data


Sparrow Schools focuses on learners with learning difficulties from the ages of 7 to 18 years old. These learners, with "barriers to learning," are referred to Sparrow Schools by neighboring mainstream schools in Johannesburg. 

Each learner is carefully assessed. Sparrow Schools has a team of specialists including: Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Social Workers, Teachers and Educational Psychologists (with remedial therapy expertise), as well as support from a number of local and overseas volunteers. The learners’ needs are typically linked to ADHD, cognitive difficulties, and language delays. Tailored remedial learning packages are designed by the multidisciplinary team. Sparrow Schools has also aligned their curriculum and individualized approach to state education curriculum.

The goal is to offer an individualized approach that supports the learner in transitioning back into local mainstream schools. When this is not possible, the learners progress through the primary provision, into secondary, and onto vocational training, with access to employment opportunities. Life Skills and work-readiness are important in ensuring that learners have access to employment and levels of independence when they graduate. The Further Education Component (vocational) of the school offers SETA accredited courses in mechanics, cooking, sewing, welding, as well as in other topics. Sparrow School has developed links to various industries to create internship/apprenticeship opportunities with the ability to track learners once they have been employed.

The school takes on a systemic approach and understands that most of the learners are from a families that are experiencing extreme poverty or, in some cases, are from child-headed households. Therefore, there is an emphasis on learners’ emotional well-being that is weaved into learning packages with access to counseling, play therapy, and group sessions.

Parents are a critical component and are very involved in school plays, meetings, sports days, etc. The Social Work Team also assists where needed (access to grants, etc.). It is very important to the learners’ progress that there is consistency in both the classroom and the home. Parents are supported in the understanding of their children's needs, and the team shares techniques and tips with parents.


Sparrow Schools takes each learner's needs into account, with the end goal being independence through employment. Sparrow Schools has included advocacy as part of their mandate as children with barriers to learning in under-performing schools are often overlooked or communities need a better awareness of these children's rights and needs.

Who we work with: