Sparrow Schools

39 Saint Swithins Avenue, Melville (Head Office), Johannesburg 2092, Gauteng, South Africa


Business Details

Sparrow Schools based in Melville, Johannesburg provides the roots from which to grow .... and the wings to fly!


Since its inception in 1989, Sparrow Schools has remained committed to its mission to provide quality, holistic education to South African learners with cognitive disabilities and to youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. Sparrow, which first began as a Saturday morning school with 4 learners in one of Joubert Park’s church halls, had already, by 1992, established itself as The Sparrow Saturday Morning School in Braamfontein, on Juta Street. Founder, Jackie Gallagher, worked relentlessly to grow the school so that by the end of 1992, it was home to over 20 teachers and 550 learners. Given the school’s unprecedented growth, Jackie soon identified the need to register the Sparrow Schools Educational Trust as a Non-Profit Organisation, thus forming a board of trustees that would assist her to build educational projects and source funding for current and future learners enrolled. Together they envisioned Sparrow Schools, catering from Grade 1-9, as a bridging school that, through accelerated teaching methodologies, would enable learners to compete realistically in “open” or mainstream schools.

Although Sparrow Schools now exists as three different, fully equipped campuses, in the early years, Jackie and her trustees undertook relentless fundraising in order to upgrade and convert the school so that it had blackboards, desks and chairs. In 1993, they registered with the Department of Education, and began to receive small state grants that assisted with the upkeep of the school and its resources. Despite the local and international support that Sparrow Schools now enjoys, Jackie has stayed true to her vision to equip as many South African youth with the educational resources to access future employment. Not only has she been involved in refurbishing buildings and training teachers for Sparrow Schools, from as early as 1991, she extended this support to Lerajabetsie Primary in Sweetwaters, along with numerous other schools in informal settlements. As Sparrow Schools continues to expand, Jackie and her fellow trustees are reminded of the ways in which they have met and will need to carry on meeting the needs of the communities in which they work — filling a much needed gap for the education of disadvantaged learners in South Africa.

Our Vision

Sparrow Schools Educational Trust and Sparrow FET College strive for excellence, well-being, and the capability to earn a livelihood in the lives of children and youth with learning difficulties.

Our Mission

Prepare children and youth who live with learning difficulties to become income-generators through comprehensive education, vocational skills training and intensive learner support initiatives.


Sparrow Foundation School offers accredited teaching from Grade 1 to 7. The Foundation School, an independent LSEN primary school, forms part of Sparrow Schools Educational Trust, founded by Jackie in 1992 as a response to the demand for specialised, learner-centred education for children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as those with remedial needs.

We offer affordable, quality special needs education to learners unable to access specialised services, given the rising cost of remedial teaching and learning facilities.

Among the services available to learners at the Foundation School are onsite speech therapists, a social worker, counselors, a remedial therapist and an educational psychologist who work in conjunction with educators in order to provide a holistic teaching and learning environment that values emotional growth alongside academic development. The Christian framework under which the school operates ensures that learners can feel grounded and supported within a loving environment.


Groundbreaking news in the Sparrow Combined School’s recent history is that as of 2017 it is one of the schools in the province to be accredited with the new technical skills qualification by the Gauteng Department of Education. Together with an NQF Level 1, Grade 9 equivalent, this General Certificate of Education is recognised by the GDE, SETA and Umalusi. This means that the Combined Technical Skills School offers a fully accredited occupational skills programme, enabling learners with remedial needs to access jobs in which they have been trained to excel.

Like the Foundation School, the Combined School adopts a learner-centred approach, as we teach towards potential, and are constantly mindful of individual learner strengths and weaknesses. We offer support for children who struggle to cope with or adapt to traditional and purely academic methods of education. We provide our learners with a degree of parenting, ensuring that there are people invested in their psycho-social well being. This increases their personal health, quality of life and eventual participation in the South African economy. By focusing on the holistic growth of each student as well as individual skills development, we equip them with the opportunity to pursue future employment as well as further education and training.


Head Office:
+27 (0)11 482 1015/09

Foundation School:
+27 (0)11 482 3520/1

Combined Technical Skills High School:
+27 (0)11 673 3558 / +27 (0)11 477 7010


Business Locations:
39 Saint Swithins Avenue, Melville (Head Office), Johannesburg 2092, Gauteng, South Africa

 32 1st Avenue, Melville (The Foundation School), Johannesburg 2109, Gauteng, South Africa
 Cnr Gerty and Hermans Street, Sophia Town (The Combined Technical Skills School), Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa


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39 Saint Swithins Avenue, Melville (Head Office), Johannesburg 2092, Gauteng, South Africa

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