South Africa has a notoriously inefficient public schooling system. Levels of educational attainment and achievement are low given the large amount of resources devoted to schools. Improving student outcomes requires the examination of both family-back ground factors such as parental education and household income, as well as school-level factors such as class size and teacher quality. The influences of socio-economic status and of race also need to be considered. This dissertation builds on the work of Case and Deaton, Van der Berg and others, using data from the Cape Area Panel study.