SHARJAH // Gems Education has apologised to the parents of 500 pupils who were unable to start the academic year at The Westminster School this week.
The group said the opening of their new school in Sharjah was delayed because they had not received the ministry approval needed to begin operations.
"We are extremely disappointed that we were unable to open our school as scheduled," said a spokesman for the group. "We are still waiting for the necessary approvals from the authorities.
"All indications from the ministry are that we will receive the approvals in the next couple of weeks."
Parents who wish to withdraw their children from the school will receive a full refund, Gems said.
Those who remain will receive a month's free education during the second term.
Parents have raised concerns about the academic time lost, and the difficulty of finding another school if they do decide to withdraw.
Admissions at most schools are closed weeks before the new term begins.
"We understand how upsetting this must be for parents and children alike," said the spokesman.
"No school days will be lost over the academic year as any postponed days will be made up over the remainder of the year."