Significant Changes to Dubai School Inspections

Now entering its twelfth year the DSIB inspections are set to get underway next month but with some major changes, most notably shorter notices before inspections, and less frequent full-scale inspections for Outstanding and Very Good rated schools.
Significant Changes to Dubai School Inspections
By James Mullan
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Schools in Dubai currently rated ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Good’ by regulator KHDA will be subject to shorter ‘review’ visits instead of full-scale inspections from the next round of inspections beginning next month. The announcement was made by KHDA on Sunday and is in response, it said, to ‘extensive feedback from the community’. 

Schools that are in need of ‘more development’ can expect to have more face time with inspectors from the Dubai School Inspection Bureau (DSIB), the body responsible for conducting inspections over the last eleven years.  In another significant development DSIB is shortening the notice period given to schools before inspections begin, from three weeks to five working days.

Schools are inspected for the first time three years after they open in Dubai, though there are a number of pre-inspection visits leading up to the publication of the first full inspection report. The full inspection process can last up to a week at an individual school and involves inspectors assessing documentation, interviewing staff and students as well as observing classes. 

The inspection process has been described by principals as ‘thorough’, ‘useful’ though ‘time consuming’ as the time spent preparing for and managing inspections takes up a major portion of the limited term time available to schools. 

Fatma Belrehif, CEO, DSIB, said: “After 11 years of inspection, our schools have a deeper understanding of self-evaluation and inspection processes, and are able to engage with the inspection process with a shorter notification period. We have listened to useful feedback from parents, students, teachers, principals and school operators about our school inspections and made some changes to the way we inspect schools. Our inspectors will be spending more time in schools that need more development.”

Additionally, inspections’ priority focus areas this academic year have been revealed as the National Agenda, Moral Education, UAE social studies, innovation, inclusion and reading.

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