A massive overhaul of the regulations governing the operation of private schools in Abu Dhabi has begun with the publication yesterday of new legislation.
The new laws regulate every aspect of education in the emirate's 183 private schools - from health and safety to hiring practices and curriculum modification.
The changes are being introduced in stages over the coming three years.
The 52 regulations that will be enforced this year include tougher child protection measures, school licensing procedures and health and safety standards.
Principals will be made accountable for the well-being of children and will be required to notify ADEC immediately of any incidents of bullying.
Prior to the introduction of this legislation private schools operated on a combination of a federal law published in 1999 and a series of bylaws which were introduced in 2008. Private schools in the emirate had been calling for some time for more clarity and guidance in governance.
All schools will be required to set up a board of governors and all teachers will have to receive a minimum of 25 hours' professional training every year, according to ADEC. The regulatory authority will also take over responsibility from the Minister of Labour for the licensing of teachers and school principals. Thorough background and credential checks will be carried out by ADEC.