Six schools get an Outstanding attainment rating from the KHDA across the board for English, Mathematics and Science in the years leading up to the I/GCSE examination (Years 7 to 11).
[Update, Jan 2017: For the latest schools to be rated Outstanding by the KHDA, go here.]
These are names that you will find repeated often in discussions over schools - Dubai College (average tuition fees per annum, secondary, 63,937 AED), Jumeirah College (61,469 AED), Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches (65,561 AED), and GEMs Wellington International (64,274 AED). There are some, however, less often mentioned, notably Al Ameen Private School (5,330 AED), Dubai GEM private school (14,250 AED), and Dubai Scholars Private School (14,182 AED).
Few schools, anywhere in the world, are able to boast external examination results as good as Dubai College's, with 99.6% of students getting 5 or more I/GCSEs with grade C and above. The school is selective, which partially explains the results.
[UPDATE, Jan 2017, for the latest, 2016 results, go here.]
GEMs education owned Jumeirah College, one of the UAE's most highly regarded schools, obtains similar results, although it is not selective academically. In total 97.8% of its students received 5 or more I/GCSEs at C grade and above in 2012. GEMs Wellington International also posted impressive results with 94% of its students getting 5 or more IGCSEs at grade C and above. JESS Arabian Ranches came in fourth in 2011/12 (of these six schools) with 93% of its students getting 5 or more I/GCSEs at grade C and above.
Al Ameen, Dubai GEM, and Dubai Scholars Private School do not publish the results of their students in external examinations.
Of these schools, Dubai College is the most well resourced when it comes to teachers, with one teacher for every 10 students, JESS Arabian Ranches has one teacher for ever eleven students, Jumeirah College has one teacher for every 12 students, GEMs Wellington and Dubai GEM have one teacher for every 13 students, Al Ameen has one teacher for every 14 students, while Dubai Scholars is the outlier with one teacher to every 17 students.
Note: There is a correlation between tuition fees and the number of teachers for each student which tends to fall into three bands - school with between 1:10 to 1:12 teachers to one student have similar price points, and schools with 1:13 to 1:15 have almost identical price points (as combined groupings). Prices slide considerably from 1:16 onwards.
When considering which secondary school, note that all schools will vary with the number of I/GCSEs they offer. All will cover Mathematics, English, Arabic and the Sciences, but after that there can be considerable variation: Dubai GEM private school has a programme of 19 I/GCSEs for example, Jumeirah College 28 (the most here).
Schools also differ in the combinations of IGCEs demanded and how 'balanced' they require the selection to be.
Two schools fall just outside this top banding in terms of academic attainment, as rated by the KHDA, at the secondary stage: The English College, Dubai (45,270 AED) and Dubai English Speaking College (61,739 AED). The English College in general does remarkably well at I/GCSE. In total 95% of its students achieved A* to C grades in 2012. In total 89.6% of DESC students received 5 or more I/GCEs grade A to C.
At the flip end there are of course those schools who stand out for the wrong reason - high price points, but - as yet - not corresponding levels of attainment according to the KHDA. GEMs Wellington Academy (I/GCSE based, 62,500 AED), Repton School (IB based, 80,076 AED), Regent International (I/GCSE based, 57,927 AED) and Jumeirah Baccalaureate (IB based, 65,000 AED) are four noticeable outliers in this regard.
All four schools will be able to provide strong reasons for their high fees, however given the focus of parents attending English National Curriculum and IB based schools, these schools are not, yet, delivering on the key metric parents consider the most important. It is worth noting however that these are new schools. Wellington Academy is 2 years old, Jumeirah Baccalaureate is three years old, Repton (the highest attainment of these three schools) 6 years old. Only Regent is reaching maturity with 10 years of operations.
There is a strong correlation with the age of the school and price. Counter intuitively, the older the school, the cheaper it is; the younger it is, the more expensive it is.
Age of a school's operation has little bearing on academic attainment however, although it is difficult for really new schools under three years to pull off Outstanding academic ratings for obvious reasons - no matter how well resourced, it takes time for schools to bed down.
With 'newness' you are paying for a recent investment that needs to be paid back, as well as a 'structural' reality of the Dubai education market that fees once set can only be adjusted incrementally by set amounts agreed for all schools set by the KHDA. New schools also have high build and set up costs, and it makes (business) sense for new schools to lock themselves into higher rates, rather than lower ones. On a more positive note, new schools with come with brand new facilities, and given this is Dubai, these are often state of the art.
Table, Secondary Schools
|School||Type||Parent Satisfaction - discipline||% 5 IGCSEs||Fees Secondary||Attainment Secondary||Availability|
|Sharjah English School*||K-12||100%||89.0%||3.5|
|Dubai College||From Yr 7 to 13||100%||Not Published||63937||100.0%||1|
|Dubai English Speaking College||From Yr 7 to 13||100%||Not Published||61739||89.0%||1.5|
|Jumeirah College||From Yr 7 - 13||75%||100.0%||61,469||100.0%||2.5|
|GEMS Wellington International School||K-13||50%||94.0%||64,274||100.0%||2|
|Jumeirah English Speaking School - Arabian Ranches||K-13||100%||96.6%||65661||100.0%||1|
|Deira International School||K-13||Insuffient Response||Not Published||50129||67.0%||4|
|Emirates International School - Jumeirah||K-13||100%||73%||50235||56.0%||2.5|
|Emirates International School - Meadows||K-13||Insuffient Response||83%||50414||78.0%||1|
|Jumeira Baccalaureate School||K-12||50%||NA||65000||67.0%||2.5|
|Raffles World Academy||K-12||66%||Not Published||56743||67.0%||2|
|Repton School Dubai||K-13||50%||Not Published||80076||78.0%||4|
|Al Ameen Private School||K-10||Insuffient Response||Not Published||5330||100.0%||2|
|Al Diyafah High School||K-13||Insuffient Response||Not Published||10730||67.0%||2|
|Al Salam Private School||K-12||Insuffient Response||Not Published||16781||67.0%||2|
|Cambridge International School||K-13||100%||Not Published||20810||78.0%||2|
|Dubai British School||K-13||50%||Not Published||50,212||67.0%||3|
|Dubai Gem Private School||K-13||Insuffient Response||Not Published||14250||100.0%||2|
|Dubai Scholars Private School||K-12||Insuffient Response||Not Published||14182||100.0%||2|
|GEMS Wellington Academy - DSO||K-10||70%||Too soon||62500||50.0%||4|
|Pristine Private School||K-13||Insuffient Response||Not Published||12606||67.0%||2.5|
|Raffles International School South Campus||K-10||Insuffient Response||Too soon||56744||67.0%||3|
|Regent International School||K-12||83%||Not Published||57927||56.0%||3|
|St. Mary's Catholic High School||Yr 1-12||Insuffient Response||Not Published||6742||67.0%||1.5|
|The English College - Dubai||K-13||Insuffient Response||95%||45270||89.0%||2|
|The School of Research Science||K-12||75%||61.0%||36311||78.0%||3|
|The Winchester School||K-13||66%||70%||15518||44.0%||3.5|
|Al Sadiq Islamic English School||K-11||Insuffient Response||Not Published||6135||44.0%||4|
|Arab Unity School||K-12||33%||Not Published||6613||67.0%||3|
|Dubai Carmel School||K-12||Insuffient Response||Not Published||10948||33.0%||3|
|GEMS Winchester School||K-9||Insuffient Response||NA||13283||33.0%||3.5|
|Queen International School||K-12||Insuffient Response||Not Published||17464||67.0%||3.5|
|Star International School - Al Twar||K-9||Insuffient Response||Too soon||34649||67.0%||3.5|
|The City School International||K-11||Insuffient Response||Not Published||17491||44.0%||3.5|
|The Oxford School||K-12||Insuffient Response||NA||11958||67.0%||3.5|
|The Sheffield Private School||K-13||Insuffient Response||Not Published||28078||33.0%||3.5|
|The Westminster School||K-13||Insuffient Response||79%||8355||78.0%||3.5|
% satisfaction with discipline based on results from the WSA School survey
The Best British Schools in Dubai Part 1: Start Here
Best British Schools in Dubai: What We Measure
Best British Schools in Dubai: The Data we have Used
Best British Schools in Dubai: The Demand for Places
Best British Schools in Dubai: Post 16 Education
Best British Schools in Dubai: Secondary Education
Best British Schools in Dubai: Best British Primary Schools
Best British Schools in Dubai: Best British KGs
Best British Schools in Dubai: The WSA Survey, What Current Parents Think
Best British Schools in Dubai: Nationality, Fees and Attainment
Best British Schools in Dubai: A Final Summary
Best British Schools in Dubai Table: Contact Emails and Overview