School history

St Barnabas College takes its name from the saint of the early church who set an example in reconciliation and in ministering to the poor and rejected.

St Barnabas College had modest beginnings. At the beginning of 1963, the school had some 40 students housed in cramped and inadequate buildings in Western Township. The buildings had previously been used as a home for girls.

The first headmaster, Father Robert Clucas, worked to set the school’s course with his vision of St Barnabas College as a non-racial school. He was succeeded in 1970 by Michael Corke, whose task it became to turn St Barnabas College into a desegregated, co-educational school and to establish a bursary scheme that would enable it to continue to serve primarily children from disadvantaged homes.

The first girls were admitted in 1971, and the process of desegregation was completed between 1973 and 1979. In 1981 the school moved to a larger campus in the suburb of Bosmont on land donated by the Barlow Rand group. The new campus included facilities for 100 boarders and for a total of 300 students.
 
The total cost of establishing the campus was R3.6 million. This was met from donations, the largest of which was R1.8 million from the Anglo American and the De Beers Chairman’s Fund and R1,2 million from Evangelische Zentralstelle fur Entwicklungshilfe EV in the Federal Republic of Germany.

By 1982 the school had 186 students and by 1987 the figure had risen to 310, of which 110 were boarders. The completion of additional accommodation in 1988 at a cost of R2.1 million made it possible to increase the number of boarders to 160 and the total enrollment to 340. In 2001 the school became a State school after running into financial difficulties but was allowed to keep its Anglican connections and name. Since then the school has had Glynn Blignaut as head master up until 2010 when Mrs. Heather Carolus was appointed as principal.

There are at present 400 students, 70 of whom are boarders. Day students are drawn from the greater Johannesburg area and the boarders come from all parts of South Africa.