Dubai: KHDA Halts School Inspections For Next Academic Year

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Sat 22 Jun 2024, 10:03 AM

Last updated: Sat 22 Jun 2024, 10:18 AM

Private schools in Dubai will not undergo full inspections during the 2024-25 academic year, except for new schools entering their third year of operations in the upcoming academic year.

This directive comes from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), which recently communicated this information to Dubai schools in a circular.

Khaleej Times has seen a copy of the KHDA circular which states,“We would also like to inform you of an important update to school inspections during the 2024-25 academic year.

Full school inspections will not be conducted across all private schools in Dubai, except for new private schools that will be in their third year of operation during the academic year.”

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However, schools can submit a request for a full inspection to the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) which will be subject to review and approval upon KHDA's discretion. Schools have been asked to submit their request by July 5, 2024.

“Schools with approved requests will be notified during Term 2 of the 2024-25 academic year.”

Dubai schools have typically undergone annual inspections and received new ratings, except during the pandemic when inspections could not be conducted. These ratings, which range from 'Outstanding' to 'Weak', are based on a specific set of criteria.

Ongoing monitoring by KHDA

The recent circular further states,“DSIB will conduct other visits that target specific focus areas and include ongoing monitoring activities. Schools will be notified ahead of time on the areas of focus and priorities for the next academic year.”

All schools must routinely update the 'Self-Evaluation Form' and the online school profile throughout the next academic year.

So far, there is no official confirmation regarding inspections for the 2025-26 academic year. The announcement of the pause in inspections pertains solely to the upcoming 2024-25 academic year.

For schools, it is important to ensure that all required information is accessible to DSIB for review. Schools are also required to maintain the practice of conducting all essential external benchmark assessments.

Meanwhile, sources in Dubai schools told Khaleej Times that they welcome the move as many leaders find the annual inspections challenging.

How will school fees be determined?

The extent to which schools can raise their fees depends on their most recent assessment from the DSIB.

Schools with higher ratings are generally permitted to implement larger fee increases. For the upcoming 2024-25 academic year in Dubai, private schools were authorised to raise tuition fees by a maximum of 5.2 per cent, based on their latest KHDA inspection results.

Since there have been no new inspection ratings issued for the 2024-25 academic year yet, the method for determining and regulating fee increases remains uncertain.

Full inspection report available now

This announcement comes after the release of the 2023-24 inspection reports that are now available, which highlighted improvements in numerous schools across Dubai.

In 2023-24, a total of 23 schools were rated as 'Outstanding', while 48 were rated as 'Very Good', 85 as 'Good', and 51 as 'Acceptable' as a result of the school inspections. Additionally, two schools received a rating of 'Weak'.

During the academic year 2023-24, the KHDA conducted inspections of 209 private schools in Dubai, which included 10 schools being inspected for the first time. Out of these, ratings improved for 26 schools, while three schools experienced a decline in their ratings.

It's worth noting that 81 per cent of students in Dubai schools receive education rated Good or higher, and 83 per cent of schools were found to offer well-being provisions rated Good or higher.

Some 'Outstanding' rated schools this year include Dubai College, Jumeirah College, Gems Modern Academy, Kings School Dubai, Dubai International Academy (DIA), Dubai English Speaking School (DESS), Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS), Arabian Ranches, among others.

A few schools rated 'Very Good' include Gems Wellington Academy, Silicon Oasis, Gems World Academy Dubai, Sunmarke School Dubai, Credence High School, Dubai, Regent International School Dubai, Delhi Private School Dubai, Repton Al Barsha among several others.

Schools that are rated 'Good' include The Aquila School, Mirdif American School, Al Salam Private School, Cambridge International School, Sheffield Private school Dubai, among many others.


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