Fee increases and new parent reports for international schools in Dubai

International schools in Dubai will be raising their fees for the new academic year in line with the quality rating they received this year from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau, reports Anne Keeling.

Dubai school
Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has strict regulations for the standards of its schools. In May it announced that 95 per cent of students attending Dubai’s private schools, which includes international schools, are now receiving an outstanding, good or acceptable education. This, according to the KHDA, compares favourably to 2008 when only 86 per cent of students received such a level of education.Accreditation is mandatory and school inspections are conducted annually by the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB).  The KHDA’s Schools Fees Framework which was introduced in 2012 restricts schools to fee increases based on their inspection standards in conjunction with the Education Cost Index. This year, 134 out of 143 schools are eligible to increase fees based on these guidelines. 14 schools were rated as outstanding, 59 were rated as good, 61 were acceptable and 9 were considered unsatisfactory. 10 of the 14 schools rated as outstanding offer a UK curriculum.The Educational Cost Index (ECI), issued by the Dubai Statistics Centre and which influences the fee increase, is based on the consumer price index and school operating costs. It currently stands at 2.92 per cent. Schools that are awarded outstanding in their inspection are eligible for a fee increase of up to double the ECI. Schools that are rated good can increase their fees up to one and a half times the ECI. All other schools are restricted to a fee increase of no more than the ECI rate.

Reports help with school choice

All Dubai private school inspection reports for the past six years are published on the KHDA website. For the first time this year, the reports include a review of the special educational needs provided by each school as well as a new section designed specifically for parents, providing information to support them with school choice.British curriculum schools in Dubai are also eligible for British Schools Overseas (BSO) inspections. These inspections are based on standards equivalent to those for UK independent schools and are part of an agreement between KHDA and the Department for Education of England and Wales (DfE). The British Schools Overseas inspections are conducted by the Centre for British Teachers Education Trust (CfBT) which is authorised by the UK Department for Education. These inspection reports are available from the CfBT website.According to the International School Consultancy (ISC) which tracks developments in the international schools market, demand for international school places in Dubai continues to outstrip supply, particularly for places at the leading international schools, and waiting lists can be long.There are no restrictions on the enrolment of local students at international schools in the United Arab Emirates and an increasing demand from locals, coupled with the huge expatriate population, is placing continued pressure on the schools. 90,000 additional private school places within five years were promised for Dubai by the KHDA in 2013.For more Re:locate news and features about education, click here

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