Twelve schools have been rated Outstanding by the KHDA, Dubai's education regulator, for 2012-2013, one more than in the previous inspection year.
For specific recommendations made in this year's report, including less teacher chat in classrooms see this article...
Nine of them are UK curriculum schools, of which two offer the IB Diploma in the final two years; two of the Outstanding schools provide an Indian curriculum and one school offers a curriculum based on US standards and also offers the IB Diploma in the final two years.
That means that one school has fallen from the top ranking, Jebel Ali Primary School which has reverted to its 2010/11 rating of Good.
The percentage of students attending Good and Outstanding schools in Dubai has risen by 19% since 2008, when the KHDA first began its inspections.
“In the past five years we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of students attending good and outstanding schools,” said Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) chief Jameela Al Muhairi. “We’ve witnessed improvements within the schools, which shows education professionals are taking our recommendations seriously. The quality of teaching, learning and assessment remains high across the board, particularly in UK and IB curriculum schools.”
However, only 10 of 143 schools managed to improve their ranking in inspections this year.
In total 63 private schools are now ranked Good or better. These schools serve just under half of students attending Dubai schools (108,898, or 49%). 87,663 students are in schools ranked Good, up from 77,176 last year while 20,435 now attend Outstanding schools, up from 18,156 in 2011/12.
Depending upon your curriculum you are more, or less likely to be in an Outstanding or Good school. In total 68.6% of UK schools are ranked Good or Outstanding, 25% of US schools are ranked Good or Outstanding, 39% of Indian schools and 66% of IB based schools.
In total 80 schools still provide a quality of education below the 'expected' Good level. There are 13 schools ranked Unsatisfactory, the same number as last year. However the number of pupils within Unsatisfactory schools has increased to 14,049, up from 10,998 last year.
"The reason for the increase in the number of students attending ‘unsatisfactory’ schools is because three new schools that have a large student population have dropped from ‘Acceptable’ to ‘Unsatisfactory’. These schools should be a message to other schools that have received an Acceptable rating and are not working on improving,” said Al Muhairi.
The KHDA's 12 Outstanding schools in Dubai are:
Kings Dubai, UK
GEMS Wellington International School, UK/IB
Jumeirah College, UK
Jumeirah English Speaking School, UK
Dubai College, UK
GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, UK
Jumeirah English Speaking School - Arabian Ranches, UK/IB
GEMS Dubai American Academy, US/IB,
Dubai Modern High School, Indian (ISCE)
The Indian High School, Indian (CBSE)
Dubai English Speaking College, UK - New
Horizon School, UK - New
There are currently more than 225,000 students attending private schools in Dubai.
More students in Dubai attend UK curriculum schools than any other (51 schools, with 69,666 students). Indian curriculum schools come second (23 school, 67,579 students), US schools in third (31 schools, 46,611 students), MOE schools in fourth (14 schools, 16,164 students) and IB schools in fifth (5,574, 4 schools). There are also four French schools serving 3,762 students.
The KHDA report notes that support for students with special educational needs (SEN) continues to be an area of weakness in most schools in the emirate. In 2012/13 the quality of support is actually said to have declined in 27 schools. SEN progress is best according to the KHDA in schools following a UK and IB curriculum.
“Provision for special educational needs (SEN) is also top of the agenda. Most schools have now adopted the SEN categories, which were introduced by KHDA last year to identify students with special needs. Whilst this has been a positive step, schools will need to further support the individual needs of these children,” Al Muhairi said in the DSIB's release to the press.