GEMS Founders School Al Waha would have been the third affordable GEMS school bearing the Founders' brand, following launches in Al Barsha and Al Mizhar. The original Founders Al Barsha was without doubt one of the most successful school launches in recent history in the UAE, reaching 3,800 students from over 100 countries in its fourth year of operation. It was rated Good in its first inspection cycle.
GEMS Education has now planned three schools for the Al Waha area that have not been seen through to fruition. GEMS Vertus School was expected to open in September 2019, while GEMS School of Digital Futures was expected to open in September 2018. It is not clear if all three were assigned to the same site.
Positions for the all through school had been advertised extensively on jobs board, TES, and on GEMS' own web site.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com contacted GEMS Education for comment. The education group, the largest in the UAE, told us:
“We are fully committed to the GEMS Founders model for the value and high-quality education it offers parents and students, and our two existing Founders schools in Al Barsha and Al Mizhar have proven very successful. In terms of the opening of a third branch in Al Waha, no official announcements have been issued to date and no students have been enrolled in the school. Any future developments will be communicated through the appropriate channels.”
The 2019-2020 academic year has been a tumultuous one for schools in the UAE, and wider world, with Covid-19 forcing schools to close physically, and to offer distance learning.
While there has been no legal imperative to reduce fees, the group had, by April 2020, committed to a discount to over 26,000 of its parents. Also in April its Moody's Investment Services (Moody's) rating outlook moved from stable to negative.