School Fees: Is There Any Relationship Between Rating and How Much You'll Pay?

School Fees: Is There Any Relationship Between Rating and How Much You'll Pay?
By David Westley
Do your children attend a UAE school? Take our survey and help other parents.
WhichSchoolAdvisor's annual school survey.

The UK/IB dual curriculum schools are the most expensive in the UAE on average. Note, i/GCSE will be offered until 16, the IB Diploma is offered for post 16 education. No school in the UAE yet offers both A' Level and IB - something that would be expensive, but allow for both academic all-rounders and specialists to stay on in the same school.

Following UK/IB are UK schools (IGCSE then A' Levels), then US schools. Indian schools are by far the most affordable in the UAE - see the chart for Indian schools below.

You would hope that, to a degree, you get what you pay for, and a look at the chart here suggests to a large part that you do. The chart follows an almost linear path downwards as we move from Outstanding to Very Good, to Good, to Acceptable and finally to Weak. Bargains are to be found in the detail. There is a good 20,000 AED difference between the most and least expensive Good rated school, for example.

Note: The biggest jump in fees moving between grades is between Acceptable and Good...

A small anomaly here in that the Outstanding fees here are lower than the Good. That is because there is only one Outstanding all-through IB school - Dubai International Academy, an Innoventures school, with, relative to other IB schools - mid-priced fees. Whenever you get a single data point the chances for anomalies are clearly higher.

With considerably more UK schools across the board we return to expected results for UK schools - with each rating increase marked by a 10,000 - 20,000 increase in annual fees.

A much smaller anomaly in that Very Good schools are cheaper than Good schools. Again, this is because there is only one Very Good UK/IB school - the well priced Deira International School. Note, Deira International is now over 12 years old. Older schools in general are usually less expensive than their more recently opened peers.

Again, very much a return to the trend line for US schools. Note, there is only one Outstanding US school, GEMs American Academy, which has a high differential between its KG/FS fees and Y12 fees - hence the wide range.

Indian schools are pretty much on trend, meaning you get what you pay for, with higher rated schools costing more than those rated lower.

This is probably the most interesting chart of them all, showing the fees for UK, US and IB curricula in conjunction with their KHDA rating. As you can see, it's no longer quite so neat as you move from Outstanding to Weak schools. The curricula a school offers clearly has an impact on fees, above and beyond its KHDA rating

Latest UAE articles
New Schools

World's First Blended Online, Physical School

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, King’s College online is being launched wi…


Playful Learning: Covid's Impact on Early Years

Most parents will know by now that young child learn best in a play-based curriculum. A y…


Finally! Dubai Nurseries Begin to Reopen

Nurseries in Dubai are once again busy with the sounds of happy children as they begin to…

School Performance

Students Get "Extra" 3-Weeks for A' Level, GCSEs

A-level and GCSE exams for 2021 are scheduled to go ahead next summer but with a three we…

Courses & Curricula

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award: What's In It for You?

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award has it all; the blisters, putting up a tent i…

Courses & Curricula

IB Exams 2020-21: What You Need To Know

The Covid-19 pandemic continues, and it has been nearly a year of disruption to learning,…

Secondary Schools

Mock Exams to be 'Plan B' for A Levels, GCSEs

‘Rigorous’ mock A level and GCSE exams are to be held this winter as part of…


Nurseries Reopening: The Long Wait Continues

Nurseries in Dubai have been closed since 1st March. With no formal financial relief pack…

0 Schools Selected
keyboard_arrow_down keyboard_arrow_up
Your selection Clear All