Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Dubai's schools and parents primed for annual inspection results

The ranking determines how much schools can raise fees by for the next academic year

The rankings for almost 200 schools in Dubai will be released this week. Victor Besa / The National
The rankings for almost 200 schools in Dubai will be released this week. Victor Besa / The National

Dubai’s private schools are to set receive their annual inspection results this week, which will determine how much they can raise fees by next year.

Schools and parents across the emirate await the announcement, which is expected on Wednesday, a month earlier than last year.

The city's education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, inspects about 200 schools attended by more than 280,000 pupils, in what is one of the largest private education systems in the world.

Dubai uses a complex calculation to determine how much schools of varying abilities can charge, taking into account inflation and overall performance. Fees were frozen in 2018 - the same year 5 per cent VAT was brought in - with the most recent increase taking place two years ago.

Operators will be allowed to raise fees by as much as 4.14 per cent this year.

In the past ten years, we have witnessed dramatic changes in the educational landscape in Dubai

City regulator's report

The formula this year benefits failing schools, allowing them for the first time to raise fees higher than the top performers, if they improve their rating.

Last year, the KHDA marked a decade since school inspections were established in Dubai. An inspection report found that the number of pupils attending private schools that rated "good" or better had doubled in the past decade.

"In the past 10 years, we have witnessed dramatic changes in the educational landscape in Dubai. Parents are now much more likely to enrol their children in a ‘good’ school than before the introduction of school inspections,” found the report, A Decade of Growth.

Last year, 14 schools across the emirate were rated as outstanding, while 27 were rated very good, 68 rated good, 51 were acceptable and six were ranked weak.

Schools with a weak ranking are not allowed to enrol Emirati pupils, though they may admit non-Emirati pupils.

Emirates English Speaking School, which was rated weak for two consecutive years, closed in March after running for 39 years.

The criteria for judging schools include pupils’ achievements and personal and social development, as well as innovation in the classroom. Leadership and teaching are also considered, as is curriculum design and support for pupils.

Updated: April 9, 2019 02:44 PM

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