Education wins in principal partnership

A South African social enterprise shared the limelight with some of the largest companies in the world last month when it was named one of the world’s best leadership programmes.

Symphonia for South Africa was selected as one of the top 10 “International Leadership Partner and Providers” at’s Leadership 500 Excellence Awards.

It received this award for its flagship Partners for Possibility (PfP) programme, where business leaders and school principals partner, receive training and work together to improve the education prospects of learners at under-resourced schools.

To date it has partnerships at schools across the peninsula and other parts of South Africa that includes Grassy Park, Durbanville, Matroosfontein, Heathfield, Dunoon, Bishop Lavis and Elsies River.

The project was the only South African programme to be recognised in this category.

The awards were held in Dallas, Texas on 31 March, where the winners in each category were announced. The final Top 10 results – which included Symphonia for South Africa – were published in this month’s Leadership Excellence Essentials Magazine.

In reaching the Top 10 list, PfP join the ranks of some of the world’s largest companies and most recognised leadership development programmes.

This year their annual Lead Conference was attended by HR professionals from across the globe and the keynote speaker was the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

PfP was created in 2010 in an attempt to support school principals of under-resourced schools by partnering them with business leaders.

This University of Western Cape endorsed programme is designed to train the business leader and principal in general leadership skills, which they then hone in the dynamic and challenging school environment.

“Honing your leadership skills in a dynamic environment where you do not have direct control trumps any leadership training programme that only rely on clinical case studies in a classroom environment,” says Louise van Rhyn, CEO of Symphonia for South Africa.

PfP is active in 279 schools across South Africa and participating schools have reported significant improvements in their Annual National Assessment (ANA) scores, improved teacher, parent and community participation and a new-found enthusiasm for education.


Partners for Possibility is seeking more business leaders to join the movement. For more information on the award or the PfP programme, contact: Louise van Rhyn, CEO of Symphonia for South Africa on 082 449 1414 or or Leo Kok on 082 327 2763 or

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