The emphasis placed in the existing South African school production function literature on better skilled teachers and better school management is discussed. Ordinary least squares and hierarchical linear production function models, using 2000 SACMEQ data, for the country and for a sub-set of historically disadvantaged schools, are constructed. Ways of making the results more readable for policymakers are explored. The importance of physical infrastructure, textbook and nutrition budgets is highlighted by the models. Correct allocation of teaching and management time in schools, less learner repetition, and better teaching methodologies stand out as important school and classroom management imperatives.