According to Abu Dhabi based newspaper The National, private, schools in the emirate are improving. In fact, those rated outstanding or satisfactory have more than doubled since inspections began in 2009.
ADEC chose The Private Schools Forum 2014-15 to announce in the recent round of the Iritqaa inspections that 56 per cent of schools (66 of the 118 schools assessed) were ranked high performing (band A) or satisfactory and improving (band B). Though, there remains 52 schools in need of significant improvement and 80 are still to be inspected.
With the update comes the news of an increase in school fees. ADEC announced requests will be awarded to schools which have improved bands and moved upwards between bands, as long as the school has not had an increase the previous year or have violations.
While WhichSchoolAdvisor.com can see ratings as a motivator for improvements to a school's standards, key is the competition for students. Currently this is completely lacking in a market where school spaces are in high demand and parents struggle to get into any school.
In a report in today’s XPRESS newspaper, the K-12 International Baccalaureate Al Raha International school had 700 applications for 88 kindergarten seats. The GEMS-run Cambridge International Schools is also running on full capacity despite the school doubling the capacity last year.
Edward Murtagh, Adec’s division manager for inspection and monitoring, said, “Thirty-nine schools have improved, performance in 15 schools has declined. The improvement as you can see is slow and steady rather than spectacular. But it does show, I think, a very promising trend in the performance of schools.”
There was more to celebrate at the Private Schools Forum when it was announced the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), had seen a significant improvement in Mathematics, Reading and Science among 1,364 students in 59 schools.
ADEC has not released the list of school inspection results for the third round, or which schools have improved their rating - which would be highly useful. You can however find the latest published reports here.