20 Affordable British Schools In Dubai for 2021

Who says there's no such thing as affordable British schools in Dubai? Spurred on by concerns about the impact of Covid, stagnant salaries or job losses... WhichSchoolAdvisor.com has updated our hugely popular Affordable Schools story. Find out which Dubai schools have surprisingly good ratings, feedback and results, and none of which will 'break the bank!'
20 Affordable British Schools In Dubai for 2021
By C Hoppe
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Schools AED 35,000 -  AED 45,000

1. Al Salam Community School



Curriculum: UK
Years: Foundation to Year 13
Fees: AED 22,000 to AED 38,000
KHDA Ranking: Good
Location: Al Ghusais

The Buzz: As the newly-opened sister school to the much-loved (and lauded) Al Salam Private School, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com felt that this was a school that, despite its newness, had to be included in our list of Affordable schools.

Our reasoning lies in the fact that although the school is newly opened, it is under the ownership and leadership of the original school. Not only that, but the Secondary section has moved to the new school site, so effectively there is a 'history' - and at least for the current year - a valid KHDA rating.

What the KHDA Says: Whilst the ratings for the Primary school will not apply, since this is entirely new, the overall ratings and comments for the Secondary school still stand. 

In terms of the strengths of the original school which we expect to see apply to Al Salam Community School, they were:

  • Students’ very high levels of personal and social development;
  • The school’s inclusive ethos, supported by personalised care and informed guidance for students, all within a safe learning environment;
  • The very strong links with the Emirati culture and UAE society that help to shape the curriculum;
  • The commitment to supporting parents with their child’s learning at home;
  • The drive to maintain student outcomes and the quality of provision, at a time of enormous change in the nature, structure and intake of the school.

What the School Says: Founder, Mrs. Sue Johnston, introducing the new school to us, said, "People have been asking us to open a second school for over ten years, as we’ve always lived by our motto “The best for every child” and we’re delighted that we’re now able to do this." We value every child and we believe that ‘every child is special’. At Al Salam Community School (ASCS), we want our students to respect people, culture and the community at all times. We will ensure that our students develop an international mindset and gain international qualifications. Hence, upon successfully completing their education with ASCS, they are equipped for life and have choices that will enable them to be successful in their further education and future careers."

Read the full WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Review including Parent feedback here

2. Star International Al Twar

Star International School Al Twar

Curriculum: UK
Years: Foundation to Year 9
Fees: AED 20,365 to AED 40,297
KHDA Ranking: Good
Location: Al Twar

The Buzz:  While it might be less well-known than its sister-school not far away in Mirdif, Star Al Twar has been rated ‘Good’ for four of the past six years (a blip in 2017-18 and 2018-19 taking them back to Acceptable before a return to the Good rating in 2019-20). 

What the KHDA Says: The Inspection team identified the following strengths of the school:

  • The good teaching and learning, leading to good or better progress, across all phases, in the English National Curriculum subjects of English, mathematics and science;
  • Students’ personal and social development, their knowledge of Islamic values, UAE culture and heritage and their social responsibility in the secondary phase;
  • The FS curriculum provision, well matched to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, where every child is included and supported;
  • The continuing very high levels of safety, child protection and care provided for all students;
  • The school’s commitment to inclusion.

In terms of areas of improvement, Star International Al Twar needs to:

  • Improve attainment in Islamic education and Arabic by:
    - raising teachers’ expectations and planning learning objectives that are rigorously aligned to the appropriate standards
    - accurately building on students’ prior learning to support and challenge the different ability groups
    - accurately evaluating and monitoring individual progress.
  • Raise students’ achievement in all subjects by rigorously aligning the assessment processes to the curriculum standards, using the good practice that exists in English, mathematics and science.
  • Maximise the impact of the leaders’ expertise on school performance by developing their understanding and commitment to planning for school improvement.

What the School Says:

"Star International Al Twar, is an established school that nurtures students to reach their full Potential, through personalized learning, providing high quality teaching and Enabling students to promote positive change in their communities. Its Mission is to provide the highest quality of teaching using a rich variety of resources and technology underpinned by the National Curriculum of England".

Read the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com full school review including Parent feedback here 

3. Star International School Mirdif

Star International Mirdif

Curriculum: UK
Years: Foundation to Year 9
Fees: AED 26,500 to AED 42,500
KHDA Ranking: Good
Location: Mirdiff

The Buzz: Star International School Mirdif's Good inspection rating looks to be a solid and well-deserved one. The key to this development has been the improvement in Student Achievement, and this must be where the focus remains in order for the school to improve further. After several turbulent years in terms of leadership, it seems that a stable hand is now guiding an enthusiastic team towards further progress. 

What the KHDA says:  The inspection team identified the following strengths at Star International School Mirdif:

  • The clear and compelling vision to provide a very high quality, inclusive, all-through English curriculum in this region of Dubai;
  • The very strong sense of community identity, where parents are very happy, students feel safe and valued and staff morale is high;
  • The excellent leadership of the principal, well supported by a developing leadership team and a strong governing body
  • Students’ very good personal and social development;
  • The efficient and effective day-to-day management of this fast-growing and evolving school.

In terms of areas for improvement the school should:

  • Regularly review the curriculum across all phases to ensure that modifications are put in place to effectively identify and meet the needs of students of different abilities.
  • Improve the quality of teaching across the school so that it is consistently good or better.
  • Place strong emphasis on securing rapid improvements in secondary phase teaching, particularly in Arabic, mathematics and Islamic education.
  • Refine the comprehensive new procedures for the analysis of assessment information to ensure that they:
    - allow the valid and accurate tracking of students' progress over time
    - enable teachers to adapt their lesson plans to meet the needs of all students
    - allow all leaders to effectively monitor teachers' use of assessment data for teaching and learning interventions.

What the school says:  The school states in its Vision that it is "Aspiring to produce learners who are knowledgeable about the world they live in, adaptable to change, and able to function successfully in an ever changing world".

Read the full WhichSchoolAdvisor.com review including Parent feedback here.

4. The Sheffield School

Sheffield Private School

Curriculum: UK
Years: FS1 to Year 13
Fees: AED 21,848 to AED 41,201
KHDA Rating: Good
Location: Al Nahda 

The Buzz: Another city centre based school which has been rated Good for the fourth year running with particular strengths in Secondary and post-16.  There is significant new investment taking place in the school in terms of leadership and curriculum development.

What the KHDA says: The strengths of The Sheffield Private School are:

  • The quality of teaching in the post-16 phase, resulting in strong outcomes in students’ academic and personal development
  • The care and support provided for students leading to a harmonious learning environment
  • The outstanding attention given to the health and safety of students and staff
  • The very good partnerships with parents that enable them to support their children’s learning effectively.

In terms of areas for improvement, Sheffield School should:

  • Improve:
    - students’ skills in reading, writing and mathematical problem-solving in the primary phase
    - the rate of progress in Arabic as a second language in the secondary phase
    - consistency in teachers’ use of questioning
    - the accuracy of teachers’ assessment, particularly in the primary phase
    - the use of information from external assessments to moderate internal assessment information and to ensure the accuracy of self-evaluation.

What the School says:

Its bold Vision is "to make The Sheffield Private School the leading affordable British style school in Dubai. It will be a school that has an inclusive admissions policy which gives national and expatriate students access to a unique, culturally relevant curriculum. The curriculum will have the English National Curriculum at its core enhanced by an enriching extra-curricular programme which provides opportunity for every child to succeed – the Ultra Curriculum". .

Read the WhichSchoolAdvisor.com full review including Parent feedback here

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