After the English College dropped its bombshell that it would close its primary section, affecting between 300 and 400 students, school across Dubai have geared up their admissions offices to help desperate parents looking to get their children into a new school.
Horizon School, ranked Outstanding by the KHDA, has been the most active, and held an opening morning on Monday especially for English College parents. More than 100 parents attended.
The school currently has spaces in years 4 and 5, but less availability in years 1 to 3. Its secondary school is Star International and automatic places are granted for those wanting to transition.
Other schools have also spoken to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. Safa School currently has no spaces in Foundation 2, Yr 1 or 2. However from year 3 onwards there are spaces. Its new secondary is due to open September 14 (but may be pushed back on current schedule). It will be based in Dubailand next to Miracle Garden.
Repton school, one of Dubai's pricier options, but ranked Good by the KHDA, has limited options in reception, but years 2-10 are open for admissions
Jumeirah Primary School has no places at moment, but told WhichSchoolAdvisor that parents can join its waiting list for Y1 to 6. It has a 500 AED registration fee which rolls over if there isn't a place to the next year
JESS is currently full until 2016, however for optimistic parents, the school will allow you to go on its waiting lists for Yrs 4 & 5. Company debentures help.
Jebel Ali Primary School currently has places in years 5 and 6. Emirates International School (Jumeirah) has places in Grades 2,4,5 and 6. At DESS Year 1 in January is a possibility. F2, Y2, 3 and 4 are full however. The school currently has 2 places available for January in Year 5, and 2 in Year 6.
At Dubai British School, all years are full and F1 - Y2 applications are closed. However, for Years 3 to 6 there is the option of joining its waiting list.
Neither Kings nor Raffles responded to our SOS.
Parents will no doubt be hoping that the Primary School of the English College can be saved, however few seem to be betting on it, and admissions offices across the emirate are reportedly very busy.
The good news is that places do seem to be available - but will require persistence to obtain, none more so than those hoping to get their children in at Foundation Stage stage. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com will continue to update its admissions information - found here.