KHDA Explains New School Starting Ages

With all the confusion concerning the age children should start school in Dubai, we asked the KHDA to explain just what it all means...
KHDA Explains New School Starting Ages
By C Hoppe
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

In an effort to clear up the confusion around school starting ages or children, the KHDA has launched a new information page to help parents understand the new regulations.

According to a KHDA spokesperson, children who have been enrolled in school this academic year for FS1 and are not an appropriate age (3 years-old by 31st December), then enrollment must be withdrawn and the fees fully refunded by the school. 

For the 2017/18 Academic Year:

  • For children starting Pre-Primary/FS1 this academic year, children must be born in 2014 and 3 years-old by the 31st December 2017.
  • For children starting KG1/FS2 this academic year, children must be born in 2013 and be 4 years-old by the 31st December 2017.
  • For children starting KG2/Year One this academic year, children must be born in 2012 and 5 years-old by 31st December 2017.
  • For children starting Grade 1/Year 2 this academic year, they must be born in 2011 and 6 years old by 31st December 2017.


The Demotion Request - Moving down a year

A demotion request is a signed agreement between the school and the parent to place the student in a lower grade due to age requirements and parental preferences. This service can only be requested by schools for KHDA approval.

The Demotion form is available on KHDA website in the “Forms and Guidelines” page.


More information

For further information, parents can get in touch with KHDA by email, go to during working hours to chat live with a KHDA team member, or call 800KHDA.

You may also post questions on the Q&A site, and one of our editors/consultants will do their best to answer your query. 

Latest UAE articles
New Schools

School Tour! GEMS Founders Expansion

GEMS Founders Al Barsha is a school that has thrived since opening in 2016. With a reco…


Interview: Dino Varkey, CEO, GEMS Education

The Varkey family has recently mourned the loss of Mariamma Varkey, its matriarch, and on…


Teen Mental Health: Professional Advice

With the issues and challenges of teenage life making frequent headlines in 2021, we thou…


Teen Mental Health, a ‘Must Read’ For Parents

Teen mental health is a vitally important subject, and one which can still carry some unh…


Podcast: Why a Balanced Education Matters!

The Covid19 pandemic has meant that in many schools, children have spent the past y…


5 Tips to Protect Your Teen’s Digital Wellbeing

Barry Lee Cummings, founder of Beat the Cyberbully offers parents his five top tips for k…

Courses & Curricula

IB DP '21: Exams Start for South East Asia Students

It’s yet another unprecedented year for IB students. Last year, all IB exams were c…


Student Diaries: Applying for University in Europe

The university application process can be very daunting, and for me this was no exception…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All