Best British Schools in UAE: Rated By UK Inspectors

If you're looking for a great British school, there's lots of things to check, not least the British School Overseas (BSO) inspection reports, checked and written by school inspectors all the way from the UK. As well as academics, facilities, teaching and curriculum, these inspectors also look at the 'British-ness,' teacher demographics and how closely they resemble a school in the UK. Find out which schools have chosen to be affiliated and what their most recent ratings are here...
Best British Schools in UAE: Rated By UK Inspectors
By C Hoppe
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

The Not For Profit Schools

Not for profit schools are as described on the tin - literally schools that are not run for profit, but where any surplus revenue is reinvested into the running of the school. Not for profits are not usually a cheap option. They are some of the most highest rated schools in the UAE, and some of its most expensive.


Dubai College

Dubai College Building

BSO Rating: Outstanding

BSO Summary: “Dubai College is an outstanding school. It provides an outstanding quality of education for all of its students and meets the standards for British Schools Overseas. It shows a good capacity for further improvement, particularly with the appointment of the new headmaster."

Location: Al Sufouh, Dubai

Age: 11 to 18

Fees: AED 88,810 to AED 91,505

Website: Go

What they say: The report notes, "attainment in English of students at each key stage is outstanding. Their achievements in public examinations place them among the very best schools internationally and in comparison with all independent schools in Britain."

"Students attainment in mathematics is outstanding throughout the school. Achievement is very impressive by any measure, and results compare very favourably with those in the highest performing independent and selective schools in the UK.

GCSE results have improved and are extremely high. In 2015, 92% of students achieved A* or A grades. This compares with a UK average of 16.5%. The proportion of A* grades has risen from 59% in 2013 to 75% in 2015. Results are similarly impressive in Years 12 and 13. Mathematics is a very popular option, and approximately 80% of students study the subject at A level. In 2015, 65% of students achieved A* or A grades. There are no significant differences in the performance of different groups of students, including boys and girls and those who have special educational

In other subjects of the curriculum, students attainment is outstanding and they make excellent progress. In 2015, 81% of all GCSE entries were at A* or A grade, and, at A level, 68% of entries were at A* or A. These results would place the school in the highest performing group of schools in the UK. Students excel in a wide range of subjects: of particular note are design and technology and art where the quality of work is simply superb.

How Brit is it? The school promotes a very wide general knowledge and understanding of modern British life in relation to social issues and the values of tolerance, democracy, respect for freedom of expression and other human rights. Plasma screens in many school buildings stream news from the UK. The school follows a British curriculum and examination system. The library is wellstocked with British novelists, reference books and periodicals.

Suggested Improvements:  Emphasise, more clearly, the inclusive nature of the school’s admissions policy in the wider community.

See the full BSO report here: Go



Dubai English Speaking College (DESC)

DESC Dubai

BSO Rating: Outstanding

BSO Summary: "Pupils receive an excellent education and, as a result of high quality teaching, pupils make outstanding progress from their starting points."

Location: Academic City, Dubai

Age: 11 to 18 years old

Fees: AED 77,782 to AED 83,601

Website: here

What they say: Attainment and progress in English are outstanding in both secondary and post-16 phases. By the end of Key Stage 4, 2015 GCSE results in English language and literature were outstanding with over 75% of pupils attaining grades A*-B. This is well above UK outcomes at 37%. The progress of pupils who have special educational needs is good. Over 47% attained grades A*-B, adding nearly half a grade to their predicted scores.

How Brit is it? Cultural awareness is developed through assemblies, visiting speakers and foreign cultural trips such as the Visual and Performing Arts residential trip to London. Pupils took part in workshops with the puppeteers from Warhorse, dance lessons with the cast of Miss Saigon and received a taste of history when touring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. For pupils studying art, the works of Monet and Van Gogh were observed at the National Gallery.

Suggested Improvements: Monitor rigorously the work planned for pupils who have special educational needs, when in class and in the learning support department, to ensure it is well matched to pupils’ needs and offers appropriate challenge. Check and report on the impact of the support that is offered.

See the full BSO report: here



Dubai English Speaking School (DESS)

BSO Rating: Outstanding

BSO Summary: "Dubai English Speaking School is an outstanding school. It provides an outstanding ‘British-style education’ while embracing fully and celebrating the values and heritage of the United Arab Emirates."

Location: Oud Metha Rd, Dubai

Age: 3 to 11 years old

Fees: AED 36,210 to AED 44,813

Website: here

What they say: Children in the early years (Foundation Stages 1 and 2) make outstanding progress.  High outcomes are the result of the development of excellent learning skills through children’s exceptional engagement within an inspirational curriculum.

Children learn through practical activity, exploration and discovery as well as carefully guided learning input. The school has created a language-rich environment across the early years. Children absorb high quality English and, alongside this, they also effortlessly learn Arabic through song, interactive wall displays and by hearing Arabic.

How Brit is it? Displays around the school and a range of books by British writers support the promotion of modern British life. Values of tolerance, respect for freedom of expression and other human rights are embedded within the curriculum. Pupils have insights into public life in Dubai and age-appropriate levels of general knowledge about society and life in Britain.

The wide range of nationalities represented in the school population means that pupils learn about each other and their cultural heritage socially as well as from planned elements within the curriculum. Consequently, pupils are developing their understanding of a wide range of cultures including those of the UAE and Britain.

Suggested Improvements: Increase the frequency of outstanding teaching by continuing to provide high quality professional development, coaching and mentoring, peer observations and monitoring of learning and teaching. In addition, raising the standards further in primary by implementing consistently the school’s marking policy.

See the full BSO report: here


Jumeirah English Speaking School

jumeirah english speaking school

BSO Rating: Outstanding

BSO Summary: "Jumeriah English Speaking School provides an outstanding education for its pupils. From starting points that are broadly typical for their age, children make excellent progress and reach high standards in almost all subjects."

Location: Jumeriah, Dubai

Age: 3 to 11

Fees: AED 39,030 to AED 48,234

Website: Go

What they say: Attainment in English, at the end of both Key Stages 1 and 2, is high compared with that of pupils of the same ages in schools in England.

Pupils’ attainment is high in mathematics and their progress is outstanding. Attainment exceeds children’s performance in schools in the UK in the early years, and that of pupils at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

A similarly highly positive picture of pupils’ attainment and progress is evident in the range of other subjects on offer. In information and communications technology (ICT), pupils make outstanding progress so that, from the early years to Year 6, children and pupils are able to cope with work usually seen in much older year groups. Pupils also excel in a wide range of arts, sports, music and drama which enriches their learning.

How Brit is it? British values are woven throughout all school activities and are supported extremely well. For example, teachers often draw on British examples when teaching pupils about democracy and tolerance. As a result, pupils develop a secure understanding of the traditional British values of tolerance, democracy, and respect for the freedom of expression and other human rights.

Suggested Improvements: Clarify the means by which parents can communicate any suggestions or concerns to the board of governors.

See the full BSO inspection report here: Go


Sharjah English School

BSO Rating: Good with Outstanding Features

BSO Summary: "The school provides an outstanding quality of education. Sharjah English School (SES) has high expectations of all its students and they respond by making good or better progress in their lessons and external examinations."

Location: University City, Sharjah

Ages: 3 to 18

Fees: Dhs 34,000 to Dhs 68,000 (although exact fees unknown as not published)

Website: Go

What they say: The youngest students are assessed in relation to the revised EYFS profile. At the end of the Foundation Stage, standards are broadly in line with UK national averages.

Students continue to make good or better progress across the secondary years. Standards at the end of Key Stage 4 are high. 46% of students achieve A*-A grades compared to 21% in the UK. 85% of students attain 5 A*-C grades including mathematics and English compared to 69% in the UK.

At A level over the past 3 years, 27%, 49% and 35% of secondary school students obtained A or A* grades compared to the UK national average of 27%. In the most recent examinations 62% of students obtained A*/B grades compare to 52% in the UK.

The school is highly successful in helping students to develop their personal skills and qualities: students are thoughtful and well behaved. Students are highly motivated learners. By the time they leave school, they have the personal and social skills needed to move successfully to the next stage of their lives.

How Brit is it? The appearance, nature and ethos of the school are recognisably British. The school was established as a British school, by British companies and parents working in Sharjah – its original founding imperative was to provide an education based on UK principles, procedures and a curriculum that would permit children to join or re-join the UK education system without disadvantage at any stage.

UK passport holders comprise 32.2% of the student cohort. The majority of students continue their education in universities or colleges in the UK.

Suggested Improvements: Monitor the impact of a whole school management information system on raising student attainment and demonstrating value added.

Maximise the potential of a single site to ensure a greater continuity in policy and practice across the whole school. 

Support and monitor the use of the full range of assessment information in planning to maximise the learning of all students

See the full BSO report here:  Go

Latest UAE articles

Meet the Principal, Craig Lamshed, RGS Dubai

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai will open its doors in September 2021. Founding …

School Fees

RGS Guildford Dubai Doubles Founders Offer

Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai (RGS Guildford Dubai) is to cut its KHDA approved …


KHDA Shocks With Planned Home Inspections

Parents across Dubai are waking up to the news that they will soon be subject to KHDA ins…

Courses & Curricula

UAE Forces Cambridge Exam Climbdown

The combined force of the UAE's education regulators - the Ministry of Education, ADEK an…

New Schools

GEMS Founders Expands to 6,000 Capacity

GEMS Founders School (GFS) in Al Barsha is set to expand. The affordable English Nation…

Choosing A School

How to Choose a School, The School Show

Whether you are new to the UAE, a seasoned expat, whether you have teens or toddler…


Moving to the UAE? How to Find a Home

Luke Joyce is the Founder of , a comprehensive and user-friendly website d…


Moving to the UAE, A ‘How To’ Guide

Moving to the UAE is a fantastic opportunity to expand both horizons and careers for many…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All