x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

High marks for Gems schools

Gems, the country's largest operator of private schools, said eight out of its 11 Dubai schools have been rated good or above in this year's inspections.

Global Education Management Systems (Gems), the country's largest operator of private schools, said eight out of its 11 Dubai schools have been rated "good" or above in this year's inspections. Wellington International School was the only school that runs to Year 13 to receive an "outstanding" rating, Gems said yesterday, improving from a "good" rating last year. However, one of its institutions, Jumeirah College, slipped from "outstanding" to "good".

Full results from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) inspections are expected this month. Ralph Tabberer, the chief of schools at Gems, said "huge investment" has been made in teacher training. Mel Curtis, the principal of Wellington International, who took up her position in September, was credited in the KHDA report as instilling "a culture of rigour" at the school, Gems said.

Kirsten Brooks, an Australian with three children at Wellington, said the school had witness "phenomenal" changes over the past year. "There's a different method of delivery," she said. "It's not just shoving information at the kids, the staff are actually looking at how to deliver things in a much more interesting and useful way." To her mind, though, the school has not reached an outstanding level by international standards.

Cambridge International School, Dubai American Academy, Gems World Academy, Gems Wellington Primary School, Jumeirah Primary School, Royal Dubai School and Jumeirah College were rated "good". Al Khaleej National School, Winchester and Westminster School were judged "acceptable".  lmorris@thenational.ae