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this academic year for FS1 and are not an appropriate age (3 years-old by 31st December), then enrollment must be withdrawn and the fees fully refunded by the school.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 [email protected], 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

First School for Dubai South to Open Sept 2024

Dubai South has signed an agreemenet with school investor and operator, Bright Capital Inv…


Heavy Rain: Which UAE Schools Have Closed?

With heavy rain in Dubai and the northern emirates on Wednesday, and more falling Thursday…


Schools to Remain Open Despite Rain - KHDA

The KHDA has confirmed via social media that schools will remain open on Thursday despite …

Choosing A School

Are School Based Nurseries the Best Option?

As of 2021, KHDA has eased the path for Dubai schools to open early childhood centres with…


Inspiring Women in Education, Diana Zeidan

At, we actively seek out those in the education sector driving posi…


UK Uni Applications: Major Changes to Format

The UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has announced its plan …


Interview: Brian Rogove, CEO, XCL Education

International school groups are growing in size and number worldwide – and among the…

Choosing A School

BSO, KHDA, ADEK Inspections: Why ALL Matter

Trying to choose a school and feeling confused about inspection ratings? With acronyms apl…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All