DUBAI // Schools in the emirate wanting to call themselves British will soon have to submit to assessments by inspectors trained in the UK.
The new inspection regime comes after an agreement between Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the UK department for education.
The scheme will enable parents to see how schools in Dubai offering a British curriculum compare with independent schools in the UK.
"Parents will have unbiased, accurate evaluations as to whether or not their children's schools are providing the same standard of education as independent schools in England," said Fatma Belrehif, head of the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB).
"They will also be aware of how their schools compare with others in Dubai."
Ms Belrehif said the information would also help expatriate parents to decide whether to send their children back to independent boarding schools in the UK.
It is not yet clear whether British schools here would be added to UK independent school league tables based on the assessments.
The inspection rounds, known as a British Schools Overseas (BSO) assessment, will be carried out at the same time as the normal DSIB inspections.
They will only been conducted at schools that volunteer to participate but Ms Belrehif said it would have a bearing on how an institution could label itself.
"Schools that wish to be classified as British will volunteer for BSO," she said. "Schools that do not want to be classified as British in their education permit will be classified against other criteria."
The deadline to register for BSO inspections for the coming academic year is June 15.
The British consul general, Guy Warrington, said the move would "contribute to greater transparency of information about British education for parents and help advance the quality of education in Dubai".
Ms Belrehif said BSO inspectors had to meet the criteria set out by the UK department for education.
"They must have experience in the British independent school system, have relevant training and have to be approved by the [UK department]," she said.
"The classification system of school permits will reflect a clearer picture of the type of education each school offers."