What are the best schools in Abu Dhabi?
There are 196 schools (seven of which are new for 2017/18 academic year), in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, of which only three are currently rated Outstanding, 13 rated Very Good, and 42 rated Good.
The 2016/17 inspection process was a little disapointing with no new schools rated Outstanding by the regulator's inspection teams. However, five schools did achieve ADEC's second highest rating of Very Good this year.
What Is the Top Curricula In Abu Dhabi?
The highest performing curriculum in Abu Dhabi is the British/UK with all but one Outstanding rated school utilising this curricula.
The British curriculum also outperformed the others across Very Good rated schools too, with a total of nine of the 18 schools.
Interestingly, across the Good ratings things differ, with the 21 schools in this category using the US curriculum.
Also in the Very Good ratings, 14 schools use the UK curriculum, nine use the Indian curriculum and there are four Ministry of Education schools among the rest.
However, it should be noted that curriculum alone does not determine the quality of a school. There are seven British curriculum schools rated Weak or Very Weak by ADEC too.
Just How Expensive Are Abu Dhabi's Top Schools?
Well, first the good news, Abu Dhabi's top schools ARE significantly cheaper than their counterparts in Dubai, however, fees can still be significant, depending on the school you choose.
The average early years fees for an Outstanding school is AED 45,237 rising to AED 66,248 for later years.
The most affordable Outstanding option is Raha International School with fees between AED 36,100 and AED 56,900.
In the Very Good rated schools the average cost of Early Years is AED 41,728, while the senior years cost an average of AED 59,784.
There are bargains to be had however, the German International School charges only AED 41,600 per senior year, while Merryland School is even more affordable at AED 41,100.
The schools rated Good vary greatly in price. With the Indian schools often charging less than AED 10,000 per year through to the premium offering such as the US curriculum West Yas Academy asking over AED 60,000 per year.
How Do Inspectors Rate Abu Dhabi's Schools?
In 2015 ADEC introduced the new unified inspection framework for school inspections. In addition to offering more insight, the big change was the move away from the 'old' alpha/numeric inspection grades to a new 'simplified' ranking of Outstanding through to Very Weak.
- Outstanding: Quality of performance substantially exceeds the expectation of the UAE
- Very Good: Quality of performance exceeds the expectation of the UAE
- Good: Quality of performance meets the expectation of the UAE (This is the expected level for every school in the UAE)
- Acceptable: Quality of performance meets the minimum level of quality required in the UAE (This is the minimum level for every school in the UAE)
- Weak: Quality of performance is below the expectation of the UAE
- Very Weak: Quality of performance is significantly below the expectation of the UAE
As Abu Dhabi works on a two-year inspection cycle, we expect that now all Abu Dhabi schools have a new inspection report using issued with the new grading system.
Why this isn't the whole picture...
Abu Dhabi schools are rated every two years - meaning a school could well have improved, but its rating does not yet reflect that new level of performance.
In addition, ADEC inspectors can and do visit schools during their first year of operation. Depending on scheduling this can fall after just a few short months of operating, a tough time for any new school!
What about Abu Dhabi's Exam Results?
There's no doubt, parents also want to know how well the school performs in external testing and exams.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com acknowledges that increasing numbers of schools in Abu Dhabi are now choosing to publish their GCSE/A Level and IB Diploma results. And in 2017, Abu Dhabi's schools did really rather well, with some of the UAE's top scores coming from the emirate's schools.
The British Schools Overseas Inspections
As well as inspections by ADEC, British schools can opt into British Schools Overseas (BSO) accreditation and inspection. These usually take place every three-years and involve a team of OFSTED inspectors visiting from the UK.
Abu Dhabi has several British Schools which have opted for these additional inspections, visit here to find out which they are and how they did.
According to ADEC Inspectors the best schools in Abu Dhabi are:
Very Good Schools in Abu Dhabi:
American Community Private School (IB Curriculum)
American International School of Abu Dhabi (US/IB Curriculum)
Al Yasmina School (UK Curriculum)
Al Ain International School (UK Curriculum)
Brighton College Al Ain (Bloom Gardens) (UK Curriculum)
Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi (UK Curriculum)
GEMs American Academy (US Curriculum)
GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi (IB Curriculum)
German International School (German Curriculum)
Japanese School of Abu Dhabi (Japanese Curriculum)
Lycee Louis Massignon School (French Curriculum)
Merryland International School (UK Curriculum)
Pearl Primary School (UK Curriculum)
Repton School (UK Curriculum)
Repton Foundation (UK Curriculum)
Sheikh Zayed Academy for Girls (US Curriculum)
The British International School, Abu Dhabi (UK/IB Curriculum)
The British School of Khubairat (UK Curriculum)
Good Schools in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi International Private School (US/IB Curriculum)
Al Basma British School (UK Curriculum)
Al Danat KG Private School (US Curriculum)
Al Dhafra Private School (UK/US Curriculum)
Al Ittehad National Private School - Abu Dhabi (US Curriculum)
Al Mamoura Academy (UK Curriculum)
Al Nahda National School Boys (US/UK Curriculum)
Al Nash'e Alsaleh Private School (US Curriculum)
Al Rabeeh School LLC (UK Curriculum)
Al Sanawbar Private School (US Curriculum)
Al Shohub Private School (UK Curriculum)
Al Yasat Private School (US Curriculum)
Amity International School (UK Curriculum)
Bright Riders Private School (Indian Curriculum)
Canadian International School
Diyafah International School (UK Curriculum)
Emirates National School Al Ain (US Curriculum)
Emirates National School MBZ (US/IB Curriculum)
Emirates Private School (UK/US/MoE Curriculum)
Future International School Al Ain (US Curriculum)
GEMS Cambridge International School (UK Curriculum)
GEMS United Indian School (Indian Curriculum)
GEMS Winchester School Abu Dhabi (UK curriculum)
Good Will Children Private School (UK Curriculum)
Horizon Private School (US Curriculum)
International Community School Branch (UK Curriculum)
International Indian School (Indian Curriculum)
Liwa International Private School for Girls (US Curriculum)
Mayoor Private School (Indian Curriculum)
Our Own English High School Al Ain (Indian Curriculum)
Private International English School (Indian Curriculum)
Rawafed Private School (US Curriculum)
Rosary Private School (Ministry of Education Curriculum)
Ryan Private School (Indian Curriculum)
St Joseph's Indian School (Indian Curriculum)
Sunrise English Private School (Indian Curriculum)
The Cambridge High School (UK Curriculum)
The Gulf International Private Academy (US Curriculum)
West Yas Private School (US Curriculum)
The International School of Choueifat (Abu Dhabi) (Sabis Curriculum)
The International School of Choueifat (Khalifa City) (Sabis Curriculum)
The International School of Choueifat (Rowais) (Sabis Curriculum)