As something of a relief for parents, many schools finally turned their attention to fees. The buzzword of the year was ‘affordability’, with schools and school groups beginning to talk seriously about how to deliver high quality, affordable education. Some schools took the decision to freeze fees while most new schools offered a significant founders discount. Some premium tier schools even announced they were seeking permission to lower their fees.
These trends are likely to continue into 2018, even as ultra premium schools set new fee records in the emirates.
However, while school fees continued to be the hottest topic among parents, it was not the only subject of debate. Here we round-up the year's key moments, talking points and key numbers within education in 2017...
- The new Moral Education programme is rolled out across UAE schools
- Schools embrace the Year of Giving with initiatives across the UAE
- 22 schools decided to freeze their fees
The Ministry of Education placed a renewed focus on quality in the Early Years sector, making changes to licensing requirements in a number of key areas:
The Dubai education regulator, the KHDA, lowers school start age to 2 years 8 months for children joining Pre-K/FS1 in schools. This is not compulsory, however and many British curriculum schools have remained in line with UK guidelines, with FS1 children required to turn 3 by 31st August.
GEMS Nations and DAA merge to form Dubai American Academy- Nations Campus
The Wellness Survey asks every Grade 6 and 8 student across Dubai’s private schools about how happy they are
The ‘Dubai Inclusive Framework’ is introduced
The 'Mohammed Bin Rashid Distinguished Students Programme', is launched allowing high-achieving Emirati students access to Dubai's top private schools
The Abundance Project is completed with a total of 58 schools taking part in the pioneering programme
Overall, 10 schools improved in 2017 and 4 declined in the year's KHDA inspection ratings
11 schools were inspected for the first time
The CBSE board of India axes the CBSE-I and changes the exam format for Grade 10
CBSE stops 41 vocational courses
DESC unveils its stunning new 6th Form
ADEK approves fee increases for 24 schools
ADEK bans 23 schools from admitting new students
ADEK announces inspections for top schools to change from two years to four
7 new schools open in Abu Dhabi
75 schools are inspected -
Click here for complete ADEK Ratings
2 new schools open in Sharjah (Al Kamal American School and American School of Creative Science Al Layyah Campus) and 4 school expansions are completed
In Ajman 2 new schools open (Woodlem Park International School and City School)
GEMS Education acquires Sharjah’s Wesgreen School
Sharjah Education Zone begins inspecting schools using the new inspection framework
The UK’s average A* to C passes is 66.1%, although in the UAE, the average is 73%
The UAE’s top GCSE A* to A performers in 2017 are:
A Levels in 2017
The UK’s A* to A average is 26.3%, while the UAE’s top schools recorded an average of 44.5%
The UAE’s Top Scorers are…
The Indian High School with a 100% pass rate
The results of the first-ever Dubai Student Wellbeing Census will be out.
Polling 70,000 students in grades six to nine, the census will reveal their concerns and aspirations at school, bullying issues, how they spend time with family at home and engagement with friends.
In February Education Cost Index will be announced.
In March/April expect Dubai's latest inspection results, and the latest round of school fee increases.
ADEK will continue to release its inspection reports through the year...
September will see a host of new schools opening including Dunecrest, Fairgreen, The Arbor School, Brighton College Dubai, Dwight School. [Watch this space for the 2018/19 new school article - in progress!]. Expect outrage over the level of fees being asked, even as most schools get realistic and adjust to a sensitized post VAT world.