Brighton College made its Dubai debut in September 2018, as part of a super campus with the Dwight School of New York. The school offers a UK based syllabus, while Dwight provides its IB counterpart. The two premium schools share a host of equally premium facilities.
The story so far...
Work began on both Dwight School and Brighton College in Dubai in June 2017, with the two premium schools being built adjacent to each other, and sharing some of the facilities.
The combined development was given a value of more than $75m (AED275m) according to media reports, with the campuses built across a 10-acre site, with two Ground plus 3 floor buildings spread across 89,000 square metres of space.
The final handover to school staff was meant to happen July 2018, however finished closer to September 2018 - late, but still on time.
Announced as part of a "super campus" (when did Dubai ever announce anything understated) Brighton College Dubai forms one half of a 4,000 strong student community - when it and the school it shares a space with reach capacity (which will be some time, and perhaps longer than initially projected given reported admissions numbers...). Brighton College Dubai stands adjacent to is the equally prestigious Dwight School, New York. The campus will also include, when finished, a Centre of Excellence for Arabic Language, Culture and the Arts.
The three primary components together take up to 89,000 sqm which are located in what Bloom Education, owners and developers of both schools, has described as "the heart of Dubai". WhichSchoolAdvisor.com would probably disagree with at least this statement. Even though "the heart of Dubai" is akin to the Bermuda Triangle (no one quite knows where it is), most residents would not claim it to be Al Barsha South yet - a very much up and coming area we are sure, but the very definition of peripheral.
Marco Longmore took up his role in Dubai in January 2018.
Longmore is a 48-year-old father-of-two and studied history at Edinburgh University before beginning his teaching career in 1991 at George Heriot’s School. He became head of history at George Watson’s College in the Scottish capital in 1998.
His next move was to England, as senior deputy head at Alleyn’s School in London, before returning to Scotland in 2008 to lead the Edinburgh Academy, which during his time grew to become one of Scotland’s most successful co-educational schools.
The position will be his first outside the UK.
History, and academic pedigree. Brighton College is one of the most academically successful co-educational schools in the UK.
For reference, 79.84% of Brighton College UK grades were A* to A in 2017 at A' Level. Dubai College, the UAE's most academically successful school in terms of examination results, scored 66.8% A* to A.
“Brighton College is the UK’s top co-educational school, renowned for combining academic excellence with a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities, all underpinned by a deep commitment to the individual needs and enthusiasms of each boy or girl.” Richard Cairns, Principal, Brighton College UK
Brighton College is also a proven UAE school - Brighton College Abu Dhabi is a WhichSchoolAdvisor.com 'Top School', and was rated Outstanding by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge's (ADEK) inspection team in the 2018-19 inspection round. Its sister school in Al Ain was rated Outstanding two years ago, ahead of its Abu Dhabi sister school.
Brighton College Dubai will offer a Foundation to Year 13 British curriculum.
Both Brighton and IB-based Dwight will benefit from the Centre of Excellence for Arabic Language, Culture and the Arts, an institution "dedicated to the development of intra-cultural exchange, facilitate both teacher and student development, as well as promote a deeper understanding of the rich Arabic history and traditions."
Not very. Yes, Brighton College Dubai has been built in effectively the same plot as Dwight School but this seems to have been more about build cost efficiency than a shared approach in any way to actual school operations. There are also shared facilities, so there will clearly be the need for coordination.
Shared facilities include a 600 seat auditorium that will be used for large events, as well as a running track.
As more information is released, so this school review will take on further definition. The school is we believe slowly filling its space, even with smaller initial numbers than hoped. Given Dubai's current economic climate, and the competition within this space, this is perhaps unsurprising. That does not mean the initial roll call will not have been something of a disappointment however, and a state of affairs the very capable Bloom team will be working hard to turn around.
Ultra Premium. Brighton College Dubai has KHDA approved fees between AED 64,000 and AED 107,000 for Sixth Form pupils. This is considerably more than the AED 74,000 top fee charged for Brighton College Abu Dhabi.
That said, Founders fees are between AED 64,000 and AED 98,000, and a true sign of market pressures, will fall further in 2019/2020 to between AED 53,500 and AED 88,200.
In May 2019, Brighton College announced it will be offering scholarships for current pupils and prospective candidates in time for the 2019-20 academic year. A select number of scholarships will be available to pupils from Year 7 to Year 10. The scholarships on offer will differ from pupil to pupil and will be in the form of a tuition fee reduction of up to 50%.
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