As Dubai's parents await the comprehensive KHDA report detailing the progress of their child’s particular school, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com can reveal a much anticipated glimpse into the KHDA 2014/15 school inspection reports.
Which schools failed to ‘cut the mustard?’ And, which schools will soon be increasing their fees?
Possibly the biggest news in this year’s report is the two new entrants to the ‘Outstanding’ ranking, these are: Repton (ranked ‘Good’ for the past six years) and the Lycee Francais International, Georges Pompidou Primary, (ranked ‘Good’ for the past four years).
Six schools; Al Mawakib School, the Westminster School, Mirdif Private School, Iranian Towheed Boys School, Collegiate American School and JSS Private School have all risen from ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Good’ in the 2014/15 inspections.
However, it’s bad news for GEMS Our Own Indian School and Dubai International Private School, who have both slipped down the rankings from ‘Good’ to ‘Acceptable.’
Two previously un-inspected schools, The International School of Choueifat in Dubai Investment Park, and Victory Heights Primary School, have joined the ranks of ‘Acceptable,' while the New Academy School has moved from ‘Unsatisfactory’ to ‘Acceptable.’
Possibly the big losers in this round of inspections are the Al Sadiq Islamic English School and the Islamic School for Training and Education who fell from ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Unsatisfactory.’
The 2014/15 round of KHDA inspections has seen the number of schools inspected rise from 143 in 2008/9 to 169 today. In the same time-frame, the number of students accommodated by these schools has risen a staggering 44 percent from 177,587 to 255,208.
Seventy three schools (51 percent) were ranked ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in the 2014/15 KHDA inspection cycle, a significant improvement on 2008/9 when only 38 schools (35 percent) were given the equivalent rating by the agency.
The KHDA inspection report shows continual and significant progress has been made since 2008/9. Over the past seven years, the number of ‘Outstanding’ schools has risen by 10, while those ranked ‘Unsatisfactory’ by the agency have dropped from 17 schools to nine in the same period.
Since 2008, an impressive 52 schools have improved their KHDA assessment ranking, 15 have declined, and, nine schools ranked ‘Unsatisfactory’ have closed-their-doors altogether.
Since the 2008/9 inspections, 23 percent more students in Dubai now receive what the KHDA rates as a ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding,’ education, while figures for students in schools ranked ‘Acceptable’ and below have fallen from 70 percent in 2008/9 to 47 percent today.
The 2014/15 inspection results highlight both the diversity (and quality) of curricula available in the Emirate. Although the ‘big-three’ British (65 schools) American (33 schools) and Indian (31 schools) remain the most popular curricula available in Dubai, they do not always out-perform curricula with significantly fewer schools.
As the most widely used curriculum and with the largest student body, the British curriculum continues to perform well with 71 percent of schools rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding.’
Only thirty-two percent of Dubai’s 31 US curriculum schools are rated ‘Good’ or above, while only one (GEMS Dubai American Academy) is ranked ‘Outstanding.’
The last of the ‘big-three,’ the Indian curriculum, however, does not fare so well, with 60 percent ranked ‘Acceptable’ or below.
The IB curriculum (with six schools all ranked ‘Good’) and the French (four schools, three of which are rated ‘Good’ and one ‘Outstanding’) appear to be the overall winners with both curricula obtaining 100 percent of their schools ranked ‘Good’ or above.
The poorest performing curriculum remains the Pakistani, with only two schools in Dubai, one rated ‘Unsatisfactory’ and the other ‘Acceptable.’
During this inspection cycle the KHDA observed…
Significantly improved teaching standards, learning assessments and curricula
Almost 100 percent of children exhibiting good attitudes and behaviour
Judgments for attainment in English, mathematics and science all rated ‘Good’ or above
Sixty percent of schools have a rating of ‘Good’ or above for leadership
Eighty-six percent of schools now have a ‘Good’ rating for health and safety provision
Eighty-eight percent of schools now have ‘Good’ links with parents
The 2014/15 report mentions the direct correlation between great school leadership and strong KHDA ranking.
The report notes, “Good leadership is undeniably a critical aspect of school effectiveness and improvement. Seven years of inspections have shown that almost all good and outstanding schools benefit from effective leadership. In good and outstanding schools, leadership is effectively distributed across different levels and subject areas. In these schools, school leaders work together to achieve a shared vision of the best quality of education for their students.”
Overall, ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ leadership is now exercised in 60% of Dubai’s schools, an increase of 14 percent when compared to 2008/9.