Top Schools 'Oscars' Back On for 2021, sister publication to, has announced that the Top Schools Awards, the 'Education Oscars', will take place in 2021. The celebration was cancelled last year as a result of the Covid crisis.
Top Schools 'Oscars' Back On for 2021
By David Westley
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All 26 categories of the Top Schools Awards, the 'Education Oscars', have been revealed, along with the news that the event will go ahead this year.

The Top Schools Awards is the brainchild of, sister publication of, and run in conjunction with our parent company, Which Media.

The glittering event, which plays host to the “who’s who” in education, will take place in November 2021, subject to the agreement of relevant authorities, with a single aim: The biggest celebration of the achievements of outstanding teachers and schools in UAE history and their transformational impact on the lives of UAE children.

For the first time, awards will be presented to:

  • Nursery, Primary and Secondary school teachers to recognise their vital role in educating children.
  • A single school that has achieved the “beyond-extraordinary” in tackling the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.
  • The Happiest School in the UAE
  • A school for its outstanding investment in beautiful architecture and sustainability to both inspire children and respond to the challenges of climate change.

Now in its fifth year, the Top Schools Awards was established in 2017 and each year recognises and celebrates the powerful impact of schools, teachers, school leaders and educationalists on the lives of children in the UAE.

The 2019-20 event was held in an Oscars style, glittering ceremony at the Rajmahal Theatre in Dubai. Highlights of those who were recognised at the 2019-20 SchoolsCompared Top Schools Awards included:

The Awards are recognised by schools for their vital role in celebrating education in the UAE each year.

Zara Harrington, Principal of Safa British School, commenting on the importance of the Awards for schools said:

“From the moment the Top Schools Awards were open for submissions we felt like movies stars preparing for the ‘Oscars.’ It is essential the education industry is recognised in this way as they do shape the children of the future. The application process was straight forward with clear guidance to what the criteria for each category. The shortlisting announcement created excitement and the build up to the actual event further embedded this excitement. The organisation was faultless from the team and the main event itself was breath-taking. This is a true education Oscar’s for the UAE.”

Awards revealed …

The complete list of this year’s Awards, revealed for the first time today, are:

Subject Awards
Best School in the UAE for the Performing Arts 2021
Best School in the UAE for Music 2021
Best School in the UAE for Fine Art and Creative Studio Work 2021
Best School for Sport in the UAE 2021

Early Years
Best Nursery School in the UAE 2021
Best Primary School in the UAE 2021

Curriculum Awards
Best British Curriculum School in the UAE 2021
Best Indian Curriculum School in the UAE 2021
Best American Curriculum School in the UAE 2021
Best Blended Arabic Curriculum School in the UAE
Best IB Curriculum School in the UAE 2021
Best Blended IB Curriculum School 2021
Best School for Technical and Vocational Stream Education 2021

New Schools
Best New School in the UAE 2021

Best University in the UAE 2021

Individual Awards
Nursery Teacher of the Year 2021
Primary Teacher of the Year 2021
Secondary Teacher of the Year 2021
Best Principal in the UAE 2021

Special Awards 2021
The Special Award for Architecture, Environment, Design and Sustainability 2021
The Award for Most Innovative School in the UAE 2021
The Special Award for Value Add 2021
The Special Award for Happiest School in the UAE
The Special Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School in the UAE 2021

Outstanding Achievement 2021
The Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in the UAE (PR)
Best School in the UAE 2021

Commenting, James Mullan, Co-founder of Which Media and the Top Schools Awards, said:

“This year, more than any other, we all need to pull together and recognise just how impressive and important our schools are across the UAE.

In the face of a cruel pandemic that has wreaked havoc on all our lives, the achievement of schools, teachers, school leaders, students and parents, towers above the UAE as a beacon of hope.

These Awards do one thing – they say thank you to, and passionately celebrate, all those in education who have given UAE children nothing less than a world class, outstanding education against impossible odds.

They deserve to be celebrated."

Mr Mullan continued: “These are extremely rigorous awards. This year that rigour must be, and will be, infused with a spirit of generosity and kindness by our Judges, this to recognise the adversity they have faced educating children during a pandemic.”

David Westley, Co-founder of Co-founder of Which Media and the Top Schools Awards, clarified:

“Last year, Covid 19 forced us to cancel the Top Schools Awards. It was a heart-breaking decision to make.

In 2021, it is now time to draw a line and say clearly that this pandemic will not stop us celebrating the absolutely extraordinary achievements of all those who work so tirelessly to educate our children.

Our schools have shown extraordinary courage and resilience in ensuring the continuity of education for students across the UAE. In November 2021 we will recognise that in the most inspirational celebration we can at this year’s Top School Awards.

Schools deserve nothing less – and considerably more.”

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