2019 Inspections: 17 Dubai Schools Outstanding

The KHDA Inspection Reports have been published, several weeks earlier than in previous years. News is hugely positive, with four risers into Outstanding status, and only one fall. 28 schools are considered Very Good.
2019 Inspections: 17 Dubai Schools Outstanding
By David Westley
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The number of Outstanding rated schools in Dubai has risen by three to total 17, while the number of Very Good schools sits at 28. Some 45 schools are now rated in one of the top two tiers of the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau's ratings, out of 209 private schools in total. That is more than one in every five Dubai schools.

Those moving up to an Outstanding rating this year are Horizon English School, after three years of a Very Good rating. Horizon had previously rated Outstanding from 2013 to 2015. The school has seen a swathe of performance indicators improve to Outstanding from the previous inspection. In fact, only one marker remains Very Good - Curriculum Adaptation in its Primary Phase. 

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Jumeirah English School Arabian Ranches also returns to an Outstanding rating after a single year of being Very Good. The school had also seen improvements across the board, but perhaps most importantly in its assessment. However improvements have come across the key indicators, including in effective leadership, self-improvement and planning.

Kings' School Al Barsha now joins Kings' Dubai as an Outstanding rated school, which makes it two out of three for the Kings' Group. Moreover Kings' Nad Al Sheba has itself moved up a rating and is now is a Very Good school. No group has been as successful in terms of the Dubai inspections. Kings' Dubai is the only school to have been rated Outstanding since inspections began (that is eleven years in a row now). Kings' Al Barsha has, uniquely, followed a perfect arc of improvement - from Good, to Very Good to Outstanding.

While the KHDA has told us it is possible to be rated Outstanding in a first rating, practically no school has achieved that in recent years. Moreover, the requirement to show consistent performance over a number of years seem to make it theoretically impossible to be an Outstanding rated school from Year 1 of inspections.

Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) now joins Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) as an Outstanding rated school. DESS, a truly excellent primary, has often been eclipsed by its sister school, and yet both have been delivering an excellent education consistently - for decades. The combined DESSC was awarded the SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School of 2019.

School Rating 2019 Rating 2018 Rating 2017 Curriculum
         
Kings School Dubai Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
Dubai British School Outatanding Outstanding Very Good UK
Dubai College Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
Dubai English Speaking private college -branch Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
Dubai English Speaking School Outstanding Very Good Very Good UK
GEMS Dubai American Academy Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding US
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
GEMS Modern Academy Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding Indian / IB
GEMS Royal Dubai School Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
GEMS Wellington International School Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK / IB
Horizon English School Outstanding Very Good Very Good UK
Jumeirah College Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
Jumeirah English Speaking School Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK
Jumeirah English Speaking School (Br) Outstanding Very Good Outstanding IB
Kings School Al Barsha Outstanding Very Good Good UK
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou Primary Oud Metha Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding French
Repton School Outstanding Outstanding Outstanding UK / IB

Only one school has fallen out of the Outstanding rated schools list this year, Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School ( Dubai Branch ) which had achieved Outstanding status for two years in a row. Whilst largely an Outstanding school if measured on KHDA metrics, it has fallen in key areas - Islamic Education and Arabic as a second language. It has also fallen in Curriculum Implementation and Self Assessment and Planning.

Moving up into Very Good rated status, aside Kings' School Nad Al Sheba, are Innoventures owned Raffles International School in Umm Suqeim, and a double for Fortes with Regent International and Sunmarke School Dubai. Ranches Primary School also moves up from Good to Very Good.

School Rating 2019 Rating 2018 Rating 2017 Curriculum
Ambassador Kindergarten LLC Very Good Very Good Good Indian
Deira International School Very Good Very Good Very Good UK / IB
Delhi Private School Very Good Very Good Very Good Indian
Dubai International Academy Very Good Very Good Outstanding IB
Foremarke School Very Good Very Good Good UK
GEMS Our Own English High School Very Good Very Good Very Good Indian
GEMS Wellington Academy (Branch) Very Good Very Good Very Good UK / IB
GEMS Wellington Primary School Very Good Very Good Very Good UK
GEMS World Academy Very Good Very Good Good IB
Jebel Ali School Very Good Very Good Very Good UK
Jumeira Baccalaureate School Very Good Very Good Good IB
Kings School Nad Al Sheba  Very Good Good Good UK
Lycee Francais International Very Good Very Good Good French
Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou School ( Dubai Branch ) Very Good Outstanding Outstanding French
Lycee Libanais Francophone Prive-Dubai Very Good Very Good Very Good French
Nord Anglia International School Very Good Very Good Good UK
Ranches Primary School Very Good Good   UK
Raffles International School -Um Suqeim South BR  Very Good Good Good UK / IB
Raffles World Academy Very Good Very Good Good IB
Regent International Private School  Very Good Good Good UK
Safa Community School Very Good Very Good Good UK / IB
Sunmarke School Very Good Good Good UK
The Indian High School Very Good Very Good Outstanding Indian
The Millennium School Very Good Very Good Very Good Indian
The Winchester School Very Good Very Good Very Good UK
Universal American School - Branch Very Good Very Good Good US / IB
Uptown School Very Good Very Good Very Good IB
Victory Heights Primary School Very Good Very Good Good UK

Moving from Acceptable to a Good rating this year were Swiss International Scientific School, and Dovecote Green Primary School. The Acceptable rating for both schools had been something of a surprise in last year's ratings.

New to the KHDA rankings this year with a Good rating are Kent College Dubai, The Arcadia Prep School, Clarion School, GEMS Founders, GEMS Al Barsha National School for Girls, GEMS Heritage Indian School, and International School of Creative Science. 

Smart Vision School, Oaktree Primary, Next Generation School and the American School of Creative Science all entered as Acceptable schools.

The 2019 ratings show that UK schools continue to dominate in terms of Outstanding rated schools with 12 of the 17 pure National Curriculum of England and Wales based schools. A further two of the 17 are UK / IB schools. That leaves one Indian school,  one IB continuum, one French and one US school. 

Dubai's Very Good schools are more balanced across curricula, with 5 Indian schools, 9 UK schools, 5 IB schools and 5 blended curricula schools.

In total this year, 18 schools have moved up, 6 have been downgraded. This is especially important in this cycle as it is the changes in ratings that will determine the level schools can raise fees and not the actual band the school falls in. 

Dubai schools that maintain their KHDA ranking for the 2018/19 academic year will be able to increase their fees by a maximum of 2.07% - the Educational Cost Index (ECI).

Private schools whose ranking improves from Very Good to Outstanding will be allowed to increase their fees by 1.5 times of the education cost index value. This is the equivalent of an increase of 3.05% of current fees.

Schools whose assessment moves from Good to Very Good will be allowed to increase their fees by 1.75 . 

Schools which move from Very Weak to Weak or from Weak to Acceptable will be allowed to increase fees by double the ECI, at 4.14% based on the 2018 ECI. 

Four schools moved from ‘Very Good’ to ‘Outstanding’, five schools moved from ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’, six moved from ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Good’ and three from ‘Weak’ to ‘Acceptable’.

The KHDA reports have been released two weeks early this year. Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), said the early announcement of school inspection results was aimed at giving parents more time to choose better quality schools.

“Ten years back, only 30 per cent of students received ‘good’ or better quality education and today this number has more than doubled to 70 per cent. It is important for us to keep pushing towards better quality education and keep up with Dubai’s aspiration and future needs.”

Dr Abdulla, added, “Choosing a good school that fits the needs of a child is a big responsibility for parents and we want to make it easier. Good education drives the future of our nation and we want parents to realise the important role they play when it comes to selecting schools offering good education.”

This article will continue to be updated through the day as we continue to work through the data. Please bookmark this page, and keep refreshing.

 

Key Data

Overall performance in 2018-2019
Overall performance Schools All students Emirati students
Outstanding 17 25,481 1,013
Very good 28 57,541 1,786
Good 74 110,488 18,621
Acceptable 52 76,972 9,046
Weak 5 8,312 19

More:
2019's Good News Story - School Principals Reflect on the Results
School Fee Increases: Which Can, Which Will?
New Caps for School Fee Increases

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