Update 10: Schools Offering Fee Reductions

In this article we're compiling the list of all schools that are offering a fee discount to their parents. We expect this list to keep growing, so keep tabs on this article.
Update 10: Schools Offering Fee Reductions
By David Westley
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Al Najah Education was the first school group to announce that it was offering a 20% discount for its two premium schools, Horizon English and Horizon International on April 31,  but as we predicted, its move, following the extension of home schooling into term 3, has precipitated other schools to follow. 

  Discount Immediate Relief for T3 2019 / 2020 % of relief deferred to 2020 /2021? Terms
Horizon English 20% All None  
Horizon International 20% All None  
Safa British School 20% All None  
Safa Community School 20% All None  
Next Generation School 20% All None  
Dubai English Speaking School 20% All None  
Dubai English Speaking College 20% All None  
Jumeirah English Speaking School 10% All None Payable over 3 months
Arcadia School 20% All None  
Arbor School 20% All None Additional 5% for parents paying before Saturday 11th April
British School Al Khubairat 15% All None Those parents that have already paid for Term 3, and corporate payers, will receive a credit note of 15% against fees for Term 1 next year. BSAK has also committed to no increase in fees next year.
Star International 20% All None  
Star International Mirdiff 20% All None  
Capital School 20%-61% All None No registration fee. FS1 61, FS2 35%,  Y1 33%, others 20%.
Jumeira Baccalaureate School 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
Raha International 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
Dubai British School 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
Al Mizhar American Academy 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
Dubai British School JP 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
Dubai British Foundation 25% Half Half  
Greenfield International 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
Uptown School 20%-25% Half Half 25%  FS or KG, 20%  Other
The Childrens Garden 25% Half Half  
The English College 8% to 20% All None 8.5% Years 12, 13; 20% FS1-Y2.
Al Muna Academy 20% All None  
Al Ain Academy 20% All None  
Al Bateen Academy 20% All None  
Al Mamoura Academy 20% All None  
West Yas Academy 20% All None  
Al Yasmina Academy 20% All None  
Indian International School 30% All None Additional 10-15 percent for siblings
Dubai Heights Acadmy 10% All None Payable over 3 months
Al Salam Private School 10%-20% All None 20% FS, 15% Y1-3, 10% Y4-13. Payable in installments over 3 months
Al Salam Community School 10%-20% All None 20% FS, 15% Y1-3, 10% Y4-13. Payable in installments over 3 months
Sunmarke School 20%-25% Half Half FS1-2, 25%, Y1-13 20%
Regent School 20%-25% Half Half  
Nord Anglia School Dubai 15% All None  
Fairgreen International School 15%-25% Two thirds One-third Pre-K-KG2 25%, G1-9 15%
South View School 10%-20% All None 20% FS, 15% Primary, 10% Secondary
Repton Dubai 15% None All  
Repton Fry 15% None All  
Repton Foundation 15% None All  
Foremarke 15% None All  
Collegiate American School 20% None All  
Dubai International Academy Al Barsha 20% None All  
Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills 20% None All  
Raffles Internationjal 20% None All  
Raffles World Academy 20% None All  
Raffles Starters 20% None All  
Sharjah English School 5% All None  
Ranches Primary School 15%-20% Half Half  
Dunecrest American School 18% None All Discount to be applied to the first payment for the 2020-21 school year for returning families. All re-enrollment deposits for 2020-21 will be waived for families that complete payments for 2019-2020. Families departing Dunecrest at the end of the current school year will receive a refund equivalent to the discount at the end of June.

Deira International School

Universal American School

10%   All Discount to be applied for the first payment of 2020-21 academic year. Parents in need of immediate support may contact Al Futtaim Education Foundation via their school.  Fee payments in term 3 may be staggered.

Note, the SMALL PRINT matters: One of the key differences is whether the discount is immediate, or whether a parent will need to wait until the next academic year to receive support. Order based on time, date information disclosed to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com.

The Safa schools, Safa British and Safa Community, were the first to follow Al Najah, with a 20% blanket discount to parents. 

Since then a raft of schools have followed, most offering blanket discounts to parents, The Next Generation School, Dubai English Speaking School and Dubai English Speaking College said they would also be discounting fees by 20%. Jumeirah English Speaking School announced it would reduce fees by 10 percent and allow its parents to pay over three monthly installments.  

Arcadia Education has announced a 20% discount off Term 3 fees at Arcadia School.  Parents needing further support will be welcome to approach the school for additional support on a "case by case" basis.  Speaking about these measures, Arcadia Education CEO Navin Valrani told our team,

"...our parents are part of the Arcadia family, and we intend to stand by them at this very difficult time".  

The Arbor School is offering 20 percent off for Term 3 fees, but in addition, it will give a further five percent reduction to those parents that pay before Saturday 11th April. 

In a frank and open letter to parents, Sean Mageee, Chairman of the Board, and Mark Leppard MBE, the principal of the British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) detailed how the school will offer a 15% discount on term three fees to parents.

We have considered whether it is possible to offer discounted fees for term 3 to further support our community. In order to achieve this have committed to rationalising the following:
- Reduction of external contracts
- Postponement of new staff positions that are additional to our current staffing model
- Delay the start of our proposed major capital build project for at least 12 months
- Place further stringent controls on non-essential expenditure.

The letter also notes that parents "experiencing severe payment difficulties", should contact the Bursar by email. .."Alternative payment arrangements for the 85% fees will need to be agreed in advance..."

"Through the measures we have taken, and with an eye on our future sustainability as an Outstanding school, we have tried to give the maximum discount possible that ensures BSAK can continue to deliver its reputable high quality education beyond this challenging time."

Those parents that have already paid for Term 3, and corporate payers, will receive a credit note of 15% against fees for Term 1 next year.

BSAK has also committed to no increase in fees next year.

Star International and Star International Mirdif are offering parents a 20% discount on all Term 3 fees. A credit note will be given to parents that have already paid their fees. If parents are struggling to pay, "a payment plan can be set up with the accountants to support you through the period," principal,  Gill Roberts, told parents. "I hope that this will provide some relief and support to our school parent community during this period," she wrote.

Capital School is offering between 20% and 61% off its fees depending on year group, as well as supporting parents who are facing financial distress on a case by case basis. The school has also waived admission and registration fees. FS1 receives 61% discount, FS2 a 35% discount,  Y1 a 33% discount and all other year groups a 20% discount. Note: This is a discount on the KHDA approved fees for the school.

In a letter to parents, Taaleem, the second largest school group in the UAE,  said it would be providing a 25% discount on term 3 fees for Foundation / Kindergarten / Early Years; 20% for Primary/Elementary Schools and 20% for Secondary Schools.

Taaleem currently owns and operates 9 schools in the UAE, including Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Raha International School, Dubai British School and Al Mizhar American Academy.

In the letter, Alan Williamson, the CEO of Taaleem, said the discount would be applied with 50% immediate effect and 50% credited against next term’s enrolment. Any parent that has already paid Term 3 fees will be credited against next academic year’s invoice, he said.

Parents have also been given the option of paying Term 3 fees in three equal instalments. The school group said it would discuss extended payment plans on an individual basis. 

Taaleem also said it is making provision for:

• Re-enrolment Packages
• Reduced Schools Fees for next academic year 

Taaleem schools in Dubai will also no longer require application fees for new families wishing to join.

"Taaleem has taken time to consult with our school community in order to arrive at a considered decision resulting in the most impactful support package for all our families. Taaleem will not profit from the current situation and are returning these funds directly to parents, acknowledging your role and contribution to the challenging local, national and international situation." Alan Williamson, Taaleem CEO

The English College is discounting its fees by 2,250 AED from FS 1 through to Year 2, and by 1,750 AED from Year 3 through to Year 13. In percentage terms this means a sliding scale from just over 20% at Foundation Stage, to an 8.5% discount in Years 12 and 13.

Aldar Academies has announced a 20 percent fee discount for Term 3 and has also offered parents the option to pay these fees over a four month period. The discounts apply to Pearl Academy, Al Muna Academy, Al Ain Academy, Al Bateen Academy, Al Mamoura Academy, West Yas Academy and Al Yasmina Academy.  Aldar has also announced it is launching zero percent interest monthly payment plans for the 2020-21 academic year.  

Also in Abu Dhabi the International Indian School has said that it will offer a 30 percent discount in fees for the current term and an additional 10 to 15 percent discount for siblings as well as waiving transport fees for the term. 

Dubai Heights Academy has announced a 10% discount on Term 3 fees. Parents are also being offered the opportunity to spread their payments over three months. The school is asking any parent experiencing payment difficulties to contact them directly. 

Principal Alison Lamb commented:

"We realise that this is a very challenging time for many parents and we are doing our utmost to ease the burden of tuition fees. At the same time, the school is also committed to delivering a high quality education and ensuring community safety and these will remain our top priority”. 

Al Salam schools is offering discounts at both Al Salam Private School and Al Salam Community School. The discount is the same in both schools: 20% towards Foundation stage, 15% between Years 1-3 and 10% from Year 4-13.

Parents may pay in installments between now and the end of June. 

In a letter to parents, Taher Gharib, Director of the schools said:

"We hope and pray that these measures outlined above, will provide some valuable breathing space to parents, as well as reaffirming Al Salam’s commitment to partnership with our community. Needless to say, you have our full commitment, that our team of dedicated teachers and leaders will continue to go above and beyond for each and every one of the children." 

In a joint statement by the Principals of Fortes Education's Sunmarke and Regent International Schools, Dr. Neil Hopkin, Principal at Sunmarke School announced that parents of children in Foundation Stage 1 and 2 will receive a 25% discount of Term 3 Tuition Fees, while the parents of children in Years 1 to 13 will receive a 20% discount. Mrs. Gaynor Dale, Principal at Regent International School said:

“Along with my team, I have been engaged in many conversations over the last week with parents experiencing financial difficulties.  It’s taken time to understand the unique complexity of each parent’s individual situation, and also to digest and plan contingencies considering the enormity of the emergency and financial stress caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. We deeply value our parent community and want to reassure parents that we have and continue to hear them, although our response time may not have been to their expectation.” 

For parents who have already paid their tuition fees, the discount will be deducted from Term 1 of the next academic year. For parents who have not paid their Term 3 fees, half the discount will be deducted with the Term 3 fees and half with the Term 1 fees of the next academic year. This applies to both Sunmarke and Regent.

Nord Anglia School Dubai has announced that it will be applying a 15 percent discount to all tuition fees for Term 3. The discount is being applied equally across year groups, and is available immediately.

Nord Anglia's sister school, British International School Abu Dhabi (BISAD) has similarly announced a 15% reduction in fees.  For families who have yet to pay the fees in Term 3, this reduction will be available immediately.  For Company payers and families who have already paid the full fees, a credit note will be issued for Term 1 of 2020-21.  There will also be no fee increase at the school for the next academic year.

Esol Schools' Fairgreen International School is also among the latest to have contacted parents to offer their support through the offer of a 25% discount for children in preK, KG1 and KG2, with a 15% deduction to be applied immediately to Term 3 fees and 10% to be applied to fees for term 1 of 2020-21.  Parents of students in Grades 1 to 9, have been offered a 15% discount and will have 10% applied directly to Term 3 fees and 5% applied to Term 1 of the next academic year.

Sister school, Dunecrest American School, is offering an 18% discount to families with children studying from pre_KG to Grade 11The discount will be deducted from Term 1, 2020 fees due in September and the re-enrollment fee will be waived for 2020-21, provided that full fees for the final trimester have been paid.  Families whose children leave the school in June will receive a refund of the discounted fee amount provided that the full fee amount has been settled.  Families in need of immediate support can contact the Dunecrest Business Manager to discuss individual terms of assistance.

South View School has also issued a statement to its parent community with a pledge to offer support through "a number of supportive measures for families" to stagger payments, and also a staggered set of discounts from 20% for FS children, 15% for Primary students and 10% on Secondary fees. 

The range of discounts "is to acknowledge the increased difficulties with home support for a Foundation Stage child, versus the independence of our older students. As a school that valued its offering of a high academic programme at ‘affordable fees’ it is clear that these discounts will impact our bottom line but the continued education of our children and well-being of our staff remains our priority."

Repton's response to the crisis has been one of the most impressive. The group of schools, the Repton "Family of Schools", which includes Repton Dubai, Repton Fry Campus Abu Dhabi, Repton Foundation School (Rose Campus) and Foremarke, has set aside 8 million AED, to provide "immediate relief to support our community by ensuring continuity of education for families directly impacted by the current Covid-19 crisis and unable to meet Term 3 payments".

This fund is accessible to all families and will be allocated on a needs basis, "subject to submitting supporting evidence of job loss, significant salary reduction, and unpaid leave for employees and revenue loss for business owners."

The school group promised to provide full details on the fund.

"In order to be transparent, we will update you regularly on the percentage of the fund that has been allocated."

Repton is not offering a discount on Term 3 fees immediately, but will take of 15% of Term 3 fees from each child’s fees for the academic year 2020-2021. The discount "will be applied across next year’s fees and is available for all children who complete Term 3 at the Repton Family of Schools and enroll for next year".  The implication clearly is that if a parent does not re-enroll their child, they will not receive the discount.

"Some families have asked how they might help others less fortunate than themselves: if they are able to do so, parents can waive their discount for 2020-2021 and contribute that amount into the RFSF, on top of the committed 8 million AED, thus benefiting even more families."

Innoventures Education, which manages Dubai International Academy, Collegiate American School, Raffles International School and Raffles World Academy, initally offered discounts, and deferments only on the basis of needs testing. As a result of "communication last week" with parents "who responded to our request for information to be able to provide need-based assistance," the education group has developed a relief programme for all parents "as the circumstances may be varied but relief is needed by all".

As with Repton, Innoventures will offer a 20% of Term 3 fees (April to June 2020) but will defer this, and offer it only as a credit towards Term 1 fees for 2020-2021. The education group is offering this to Collegiate American School, Dubai International Academy Al Barsha, Dubai International Academy Emirates Hills, Raffles International School
Raffles World Academy, and Raffles Starters (Early Learning Centre).

Students who leave at the end of academic year 2019-2020 to relocate out of Dubai and have already paid fees in full will receive a refund equivalent to 10% of Term 3 fees on withdrawal. Clearly, any parent moving to another school, in Dubai, will not benefit from the discount.

Innoventures said it is also open for applications for need-based assistance. 

Sharjah English School is discounting its Term 3 fees by a flat 5% across all year groups. The discount is available now. The school will also make special consideration on fees if needed for parents suffering more significantly as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. 

In an extraordinary show of transparency,  the Board of Governors of not-for-profit Sharjah English School sent a three page letter to parents, shared with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, detailing the current financial situation of the school, the steps they have taken to mitigate costs, and the impact of the Covid -19 situation on staffing.  Closing the letter, the Board noted "The Board stresses our obligation to our students, for whom access to our outstanding school and its provision will be safeguarded by the governors and Principal. The responsibility to our parents, especially those worst affected by the current circumstances, and our teaching and support staff, are a mutual and profound obligation. However isolated and remote we appear from each other now, our great school is the unifying factor which we all believe in; difficult and dark as the days seem now, together we will prevail and be strengthened as a community."

Ranches Primary School is discounting Foundation Stage (FS1 and FS2) fees by 20% and 15 percent for Year 1-6 students. Half of the discount on Term 3 fees will be returned immediately (via an online bank transfer), and the second half will be credited against Term 1 fees for the next academic year, 2020-2021.

Al Futtaim Education Foundation, owners of Deira International and Universal American Schools in Dubai Festival City, has announced two initiatives in support of families affected by Covid-19. A blanket fee rebate equal to 10% of the pro-rated school fees for the online learning period will be applied in the 2020/2021 academic year. Families who find themselves in significant financial difficulties may apply for assistance through a designated fund set up by the Foundation directly through the relevant school. In addition, both schools are offering flexible payment plans so that fee payments can be stretched out over time.

Means testing

While most schools in the UAE decided to offer blanket discounts to all parents, some schools have opted for a more targeted approach. GEMS Education, the UAE's largest school group, was the first to announce it would only offer discounts or deferments to those parents that had been directly affected by Covid-19. The approach it said would allow it to "provide our students with the same consistency and quality of education that you expect from us."

Ambassador Education which runs four schools in the UAE has also adopted the same approach as GEMS Education and Innoventures and will assess the needs of its parents.

In a letter to parents, dated April 2nd, Mr James Lynch, the Principal of Ambassador International Academy, noted:

"We are sensitive to the needs of all families, which will vary in magnitude. However, we need to stand together to understand and handhold the families who need our help the most at this juncture.

"The school has requested those who have been negatively harmed by Covid-19 to email an "application for relief" to [email protected].
"Appropriate relief, if any, shall be offered as the the requirement of the families after the verification of specific documents."

Note: We will continue to add to this story as more schools announce fee reductions, plans to help those families affected by Covid-19.

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