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
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 Schools In Abu Dhabi


Al Basma British School

Al Basma British School

BSO Rating: Satisfactory

BSO Summary: Al Basma British School Abu Dhabi is an improving school.

Location: Al Bahia, Abu Dhabi

Age: 3 to 18

Fees: AED 26,300 to AED 44,200

Website: here    

What they say: The school has only been in operation for a short time and has made significant progress as it establishes itself.

The school fully complies with host country regulatory requirements. Teaching is at least satisfactory and there are a significant number of good lessons.

The students, parents and staff are highly committed to the school. Parents value the school’s commitment to provide an education similar in character to typical independent school expectations.

The senior leadership team has an understanding of the strengths of the school and the key areas for further development. Nearly all students make progress at least in line with their ability, some do better. The national curriculum proves the framework for teaching and learning alongside host country requirements. The curriculum is enriched by a range of extra-curricular activities.

The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum delivering all of the elements of the English National Curriculum acceptable in the Muslim context.

How Brit is is? The ethos, nature and appearance of the school are recognisably British, and mirror what would be found in the independent sector in the UK. The school uses the National Curriculum (NC) of England which ensures that students can join/re-join the UK education system without disadvantage, at any stage. The school has implemented a broad, balanced curriculum. As well as implementing the NC for England, a range of assessments and student progress checks are based on national standards from the UK.

Suggested improvements: Continue to develop assessment strategies to ensure they are manageable and have an impact on raising achievements.

Clarify a leadership structure that ensures all middle leaders have the skills and competencies to increase levels of accountability.

Develop further the staff’s strengths to ensure that teaching and learning is at least good and consistent across the school.

See full BSO report here 


Belvedere British School

BSO Rating: Satisfactory

BSO Summary: "Overall, the school provides a quality of education that meets the needs of pupils. The school’s aims are being well met. The school has only been in operation for two years."

Location: Mohammed Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi

Ages: 3 to 19

Fees: AED 23,000 to AED 30,000

Website: Go

What they say: Overall, the quality of education provided at Belvedere British School is satisfactory or better. The curriculum and teaching and assessment are both satisfactory, with aspects that are good. The standards achieved by pupils are satisfactory, and the quality of governance is good.

How Brit is it? The British nature of Belvedere British School is satisfactory. The school ethos, nature and appearance reflect many British educational characteristics:  Many of the staff have UK recognised qualifications and are registered as teachers with the Department for Education in the United Kingdom.

Suggested Improvements: To implement consistent health and safety procedures to ensure all identified concerns are addressed.

To allow for a more creative curriculum, enhance the resources and physical spaces to develop a richer learning environment.

To enhance the quality of teaching by identifying the development needs of all teachers and by providing effective, differentiated professional development.

See the full BSO report here: Go



Brighton College Abu Dhabi

Brighton College

BSO Rating: Good

BSO Summary: "Brighton College is highly successful in meeting its stated aims. The standards achieved by pupils are good, and for those in the Early Years, excellent."

Location: Near Al Bateen Airport, Abu Dhabi

Age: 3 to 16

Fees: AED 48,500 to AED 74,100

Website: Go

What they say: Student achievement, quality of governance and teaching are good, while the curriculum at Brighton College is excellent.

How Brit is it? The report has no specific paragraph on the school’s ‘Britishness.’

Suggested Improvements: To develop and share teaching strategies and practices to ensure that all lessons meet the learning needs of all students.

See the full BSO report here: Go


The British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)

BSO Rating: Outstanding

BSO Summary: The British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) is a good school with many outstanding features, which provides high quality opportunities for its students.

Location: Near Mushrif Central Park, Abu Dhabi

Ages: 3 to 18

Fees: AED 37,600 to AED 65,400

Website: here

What they say: NFER Data available from June 2015 shows that by the end of KS2 students achieve better than their UK counterparts. Compared to the UK target of 65% level 4 and above in English, BSAK students results were 98% reading and 93% writing. There was no significant difference in results for boys and girls. In mathematics, 96% of Year 6 students met or exceeded the national expectations, with 5% scoring full marks.

The standards achieved in Secondary are outstanding. Students achieve at the highest level in all key stages, well above UK national levels. Value-added is very good and final outcomes at GCSE are outstanding at 96% A*- C, and at A level 88% achieving A*- C. BSAK celebrates the strength of their alumni with students attending many of the top universities, both in the UK and the rest of the world.

How Brit is it? The language of instruction in the school is English. The school is organised according to the structures used in English schools. Classroom management, displays of work, three term year and age-related year groups contribute to a British feel of the school.

The Headmaster and key leaders hold appropriate UK qualifications. The majority of the staff are UK trained and qualified. Most of the rest hold qualifications recognised by the UK DfE.

Suggested Improvements: As a professional development initiative, ensure the wealth of current teaching expertise is shared to develop further higher quality teaching and learning across the school.

Broaden the current monitoring and tracking systems to incorporate all the skills that students will require for their future lives beyond the school.

Further embed and develop the inspiring drive to be the best, ensuring BSAK develops as a world class innovative leader in British and international education for the 21st Century.

See the full BSO report here: Go



The Pearl Primary School

Pearl Primary School

BSO Rating: Outstanding

BSO Summary: The Pearl Primary School sets high expectations for all its children, and they respond by making good or better progress in their lessons. Levels of attainment are high in both academic and wider creative capacities, enabling children to be very effective learners.

Location: Al Dhafrah, Abu Dhabi

Ages: 3 to 11

Fees: AED 40,400

Website: Go

What they say: Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 Standards remain high as a result of the good progress made by almost all students.

Externally validated assessments comparing reading, mathematics and science across 62 countries, place The Pearl in the 99th percentile for reading and the 98th and 97th percentiles for mathematics and science.

At the end of Key Stage 1, 43% of pupils in mathematics, 20% in writing, 45% in reading and 33% in English are working above their expected level. Good progress is continued throughout the next key stage. At the end of Key Stage 2, 58% of pupils in mathematics, 47% in science, 52% in English, 44% in writing and 60% in reading are working above their expected level.

How Brit is it?: The school celebrates special events in the UK, for example the Royal Wedding, Remembrance Day and the London Olympics. Texts, materials, educational equipment, software and the school’s Management Information System are UK sourced. Annual shows by Year 6 include Shakespeare productions such as Midsummer Night’s Dream and adaptations of stories by British authors.

Suggested Improvements: To review the marking policies and practices to ensure impact, effectiveness and consistency across the school.

To audit the range and scope of challenge in lessons, to provide a richness of outcomes for the most able children.

See the full BSO report here: Go

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