Parents received a letter from Alan Williamson, the Director of Education at Kings' School, at the start of Term 3, announcing the school would be replacing its principal. Rumours moved up a gear however after parents then received a letter detailing how they could transfer their children within the Kings’ group of schools, notably to Kings' Al Barsha.
Speaking to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com today, Kings’ confirmed not only was Nad Al Sheba not closing but that it would be expanding. Its Director of Education told us:
“Plans for our campus facility improvement programme are in place and preparations are underway. Later in Term 3, we will provide details of these exciting new developments, which are due to open over the course of the next academic year.”
These plans include a community sports hub for the school and the Nad Al Sheba community. The school has also invested in a new entrance road, which is now complete. Additionally the school is working towards providing a footpath and cycle-scheme from the new Nakheel Villas estate directly into the campus.
“Our school roll has grown positively in an ever competitive market in that area of the city despite some other local schools losing student numbers. Furthermore, we look forward to announcing another positive DSIB Inspection outcome from this year, subject to KHDA quality assurance. The school’s reputation under the ‘standing out’ philosophy for innovation, enterprise and the creative arts has been significantly enhanced and provides excellent foundations for the future.”
Mr Williamson further reassured parents the school group is committed to a secondary campus at Kings’ School Nad al Sheba, subject to KHDA approval, opening in September 2019.
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com was also told that Kings’ will shortly announce that Mr Kevin Stedman, Senior Education Officer with the Schools Group, will return to Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba this term and next Academic Year in a senior strategic role directing teaching & learning, leadership and Kings’ Philosophy.
"This is a massive boost for Kings’ in terms of the experience and expertise that Stedman will bring to primary-focused education,"
Mr Stedman was the founding Headmaster of Kings’ Dubai and architect of the Kings’ Vision of outstanding education with The Company Chairman, Mr Tayeb Al Baker.
The Director of Education was also keen to communicate its former principal, Darren Gale, had left as a result of a mutual decision. “The decision to appoint a new Principal was completely amicable between both parties.
"He has not been ‘dismissed’."
"The reality is that by its nature Dubai is a very transient environment and the average time for a Principal in post is in fact only two years, therefore whilst we hope to retain our staff for as long as practically possible, we accept that this may not always be the case.”
The Principal post has been advertised in the UK Times Education Supplement and an appointment will be made during Term 3.
The school’s governors, leaders, staff, students and parents will all be involved in the process of deciding a replacement. The new Principal is expected to be in the post for the start of the academic year in September 2018.
Mr Williamson also told WhichSchoolAdvisor.com that letters on how to transfer to Kings’ School Al Barsha had been sent as a result of requests from parents.
“We have had a small number of requests from parents for transfer of campus from Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba to the other Kings’ Schools due to their geographical location and therefore individual concerns about commuter times for some families. Parents received a letter in response to these transfer requests.”
He further stated that the waiting lists at Kings’ School Dubai have transferred to waiting lists at Kings’ School al Barsha and “parents who value the strong brand have moved to Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba”.
“Due to an improved facilities programme at Kings’ School Al Barsha - including a substantial further investment from Kings’ Education - we have been able to accommodate a very small number of cases this year based upon the capacity of year groups at Kings’ School Al Barsha and Kings’ Dubai. This has been on a case by case basis as and when a seat becomes available. However space is very limited due to already extensive waiting lists.”