Most Recommended Schools in the UAE

Most Recommended Schools in the UAE
By David Westley
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1st= Dubai English Speaking College

DESC, another school rated Outstanding by the KHDA, is no stranger to's lists of the best schools in Dubai. In this list, DESC just pipped sister school DESS, although with just a 4% margin. Located in Dubai Academic City, initially the school struggled a little to tempt families – many with children at DESS and living in the traditional Jumeirah/Umm Suqeim areas – to make the transition to the new campus, but a visit to the school 10 years on shows that although the overall location may not be among the most attractive in Dubai, the school itself is a very pleasant environment with the main two storey buildings set like the spokes of a wheel in a semi-circle surrounded by green areas and plentiful outdoor sports and green areas. With the move of many families out towards Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, the school is now also very convenient for many.

Another big draw, is that DESC has not gone down the route of offering the IB Diploma programme as many other Secondary schools in the area have done – it continues to offer A Levels and is also looking at offering vocational options associated with the BTEC qualification for students wishing to follow a more vocational route. The school has 1150 students currently on roll of whom 140 (well over 10%) have Special Educational Needs. The majority of students and staff are British passport holders and with a staff to student ratio of 1:12, it is easy to see why the school achieves results. The latest KHDA report (2014-15) specifically picks out the following attributes “Students’ behaviour was exemplary, relationships were highly positive, and personal and social skills were strong. Their community and environmental responsibility was outstanding, because they were proactive in leading initiatives that had positive effects upon the local community. Most students had good understanding of Islamic values, the heritage and culture of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and an awareness of other global cultures”.

Another unusual element of the school is the sharing of the 3 year Strategic plan with parents and students, this again clearly ensuring that the whole school community understands the direction that the Board and Senior team intend to travel.

Full review here.

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