“I searched the internet for a good British school for my daughter. That is how I found King’s Interhigh.
I am a teacher in the UAE, and there is a shortage of what we, expats, would call a good school.”
Founded in 2005, King’s InterHigh is an established independent, UK-founded, international online school offering an all-through British education from Primary through to Secondary and Sixth Form for children between the ages of 7 and 19 years of age. The King’s InterHigh Sixth Form offers a choice of pathways between traditional gold standard British A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. King’s InterHigh was the world’s first and school to offer the IB Diploma Programme entirely online. Secondary school provision focuses on International GCSE. To date (2023), the school has an alumni network stretching to over 10,000 students worldwide.
Admissions are open for students from Year 3 Primary phases (from 7 years of age onwards) through to Year 13 British Sixth Form. UAE Admissions enquiries, including for Dubai and Abu Dhabi families, can be directed here.
King’s InterHigh is part of the Inspired Education group, which has a dedicated Dubai hub based in Media City:
Inspired Education operates an international network of 80 schools, across 23 countries on 5 continents, educating more than 60,000 students worldwide each year. King’s InterHigh is the Group’s dedicated online schooling division, leveraging more than 50 years of proven experience from the King’s College Group and 17 plus of InterHigh’s delivery of online education. King’s InterHigh is widely considered the world’s founding on-line school. Its London Headquarters is based in Burlington Gardens, opposite the Royal Academy of Arts. Today King’s InterHigh educates more than 4,500 students worldwide each year, of which one third are drawn from the global community outside the UK.
Alumni of Inspired schools include Hollywood actor Glenn Close, Game of Thrones star Toby Sebastian, and fashion model Lady Kitty Spencer. Current students of King’s InterHigh include House of the Dragon, Fantastic Beasts and Disney’s Cruella star Maddie Evans and vegan chef Omari McQueen.
Lesson times are fully adjusted for UAE students and operate Monday – Friday from 8:00am GST. The curriculum offers significant flexibility for students to explore enrichment activities should they be scheduled at any time during the school day.
The freedom opened up by a King’s Interhigh education is perfectly captured in this inspirational blog from a family who spend their time traveling the world. Year 5 and 6 King’s Interhigh students Beau and Bruno (Bee’s Bucket List) travel all around the world while learning online, from Thailand to Fiji, whilst “no matter where they are, always being connected with their warm, welcoming King’s InterHigh community ❤️.”
Curriculum, Qualifications and Subject Breadth
We rate subject breadth at both GCSE and A Level very good. Broader subject options including Psychology, a key bridging subject between Mathematics, Science and the Social Sciences, add breadth to the curriculum and Business Studies and a MFL option in Spanish are both popular options in the UAE. Timetabling is excellent – and we could find no examples of where obviously linked subjects cannot be studied together. Language options are strong and include Arabic. If there are gaps, they are in the Performing Arts and Sports areas – but this is understandable from an on-line school – and Dubai offers countless complimentary ways to study in these areas to a professional level. In many cases, online schools are chosen by those gifted and talented in Sport and the Arts precisely because the timetable can be mapped around their study and practice schedules in these areas – something that cannot be (easily) achieved in the rigid timetables characteristic of their bricks and mortar school counterparts. Below, Joshua Andrew, QPR Academy footballer, discusses why he studies at King’s Interhigh to meet the needs of his professional ambitions in football and achieve an outstanding education.
GCSE/IGCSE Core Subjects:
- English Language
- English Literature
GCSE/IGCSE Core Options:
GCSE/IGCSE Additional Options:
- Business Studies
- Computer Science
- Further Mathematics
- Computer Science
- English Literature
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme
The King’s InterHigh International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is being delivered fully online for students between the age of 16 and 19. Students study a full British education to age 16/GCSE until embarking on the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. Groundwork for the programme was originally established in a partnership with Inspired’s IB World School, the International School of Monza.
The online student-led learning model supports all the core attributes of an International Baccalaureate® education, from independent inquiry to open-minded communication. Students begin each topic with their own research, developing their understanding through collaborative exploration and expert knowledge. King’s InterHigh support this by leveraging highly innovative adjuncts to learning including VR assisted study and engagements in projects in the community.
Over 50% of King’s Interhigh students continue their education at world-renowned Russell Group or Ivy League schools, whilst many others graduate to professional careers in the spectrum of sectors including Sport, Business and the Creative Arts.
You can listen to King’s Interhigh student Maria Delgado describe her experience studying for her IBDP with King’s InterHigh, and discover Head of Sixth Form Alessandro Capozzi views on the differences between A Levels and an IBDP below:
As part of Inspired, King’s InterHigh students get access to Inspired Global Summer Camps:
Fees and ROI
We rank ROI for parents for fees at King’s InterHigh outstanding, particularly given the breadth of GCSE and A level options and the benefits of proven established international on-line schooling. The UAE and Dubai based options are fully adjusted for GST time and UAE students and families are very well supported. Worth noting that IB Diploma fees are significantly higher than those of British A Level at Sixth Form – but this reflects the greater complexity of delivering the Diploma Programme. Given the number of individual components, compared with just three subjects at A Level, the fee differential we think is justified. Worth noting that fees undercut equivalent bricks and mortar schools, in many cases more than halving them.
Currency conversion on the following headline fees comparison was completed in February 2023:
|YEAR||Primary – GCSE – A’ Level*||Primary – GCSE – IB Diploma*|
|Year 3||AED 13,000 (£2750)||AED 13,000 (£2750)|
|Year 4||AED 13,000 (£2750)||AED 13,000 (£2750)|
|Year 5||AED 13,000 (£2750)||AED 13,000 (£2750)|
|Year 6||AED 13,000 (£2750)||AED 13,000 (£2750)|
|Year 7||AED 17,500 (£3750)||AED 17,500 (£3750)|
|Year 8||AED 17,500 (£3750)||AED 17,500 (£3750)|
|Year 9||AED 17,500 (£3750)||AED 17,500 (£3750)|
|Year 10||AED 21,000 (£4500)||AED 21,000 (£4500)|
|Year 11||AED 21,000 (£4500)||AED 21,000 (£4500)|
|Year 12||circa AED 24,000||circa AED 37,500|
|Year 13||circa AED 24,000||circa AED 37,500|
The core British curriculum is followed identically in both programmes until age 16 years/completion of British GCSEs. *AED figures subject to sterling exchange rate changes.
The latest information on fees, prior to conversion, can be found here.
ECAs and Whole Child Development
One of the strengths of a King’s InterHigh education is the investment in the extended curriculum. The spectrum of clubs and societies are in perpetual development, driven in no small part by the community of students. These include a Book Club, Medical Society, Masterclasses, Talk Programmes, Dedicated Social Media Areas, in-person meets, away-days, activity weekends, international events and Summer Camps (above).
Chief Executive officer and Executive Principal of King’s InterHigh, Mark O’Donoghue, draws on significant experience in online and international education, as well as the digital technologies underpinning on-line learning. A Geographer by original training and Oxbridge educated (Oxford University 1989- 1992), Mr O’Donghue went on to study at INSEAD for his MBA. Key experience prior to taking over the role of Executive Principal and CEO of King’s InterHigh was his leading Avado Learning for five years, a UK-based leader in education with specialism in business and industry. For over a decade, Mr O’Donoghue led Hotcourses, now IDP Connect. The organisation is the world’s leader in securing top tier university places for students across more than 50 territories. He has worked with major blue-chips in education including BT, Yahoo!, Google, Tableau and the CIPD. His strongest focus has been on the later teenage years encompassing online learning, university counselling and apprenticeships. Since bringing InterHigh into the Inspired Education group, customer feedback scores have risen from 2.3 to 4.7 (Trustpilot) and the number of students on roll with Inspired Online Schools has more than doubled.
Ashley Harrold, Executive Headteacher of King’s InterHigh, is an Historian by original training. Educated at UCL, Mr Harrold studied for his PGCE and NPQH at UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society before achieving his NPQEL in Educational Leadership and Administration at the Harris Federation in London. His early career saw him teaching and leading History in schools across London, before a posting for almost 10 years at Blatchington Mill School in Brighton, latterly as Head Teacher.
Bottom Line? the SchoolsCompared.com Verdict 2023-2024
There are many drivers for choosing to educate children on-line. Covid-19 clearly drove interest and awareness, but the long term drivers are simply that for many children, an on-line education simply works better. The reasons are as diverse as individuals and families. Many children simply thrive without the distractions of school hubbub, or indeed the strict timetabling that crushes interest in a subject by the need to endlessly change lessons. Whilst the school day too is structured, there is also freedom for students to adjust their academic lives to their passions outside school – something not possible in traditional bricks and mortar schools which cannot help but operate to some degree as factories pushing students through the limitations of a necessarily highly managed system.
UAE-based King’s Interhigh student Wahaaj captures the opportunities of a King’s Interhigh education well:
“I think King’s Interhigh really is an exceptional school where you can enjoy flexibility in learning. For example, if you miss a class, all you have to do is catch up via the lesson recordings.
KIH offers a lot of tools for studying too. One of my new favourites is Creative Cloud. This gives me access to video/image editing, the ability to make AR applications, create 3D environments and many more useful applications – I even edited a video, using Creative Cloud, for my STEM assignment…. it went really well).
A huge, huge advantage of an online school is that you can actually interact with people from all around the world. You get a very good sense of a global community and KIH also has many projects which encourage this.”
A simple video capturing the experience follows:
For the right children, the experience is a very happy and productive one:
Success comes with this territory. 44% of King’s InterHigh students secure a Grade 7 – 9 pass at IGCSE, 43% achieve an A*A qualification at A level – and around half of all graduating students go on to study at Russell Group universities including Oxbridge.
Creditably, the school does also offer scholarships for gifted students. Applicants must apply (or reapply) each year to be considered. To apply, send a letter (email [email protected]) addressed to Ashley Harrold, Executive Headteacher of King’s InterHigh, and include the following:
- Name, year of proposed study and the programme applied for if at Sixth Form (A Level or IB Diploma)
- Clarification on whether you are seeking a full or partial scholarship
- Reasons why you deserve a scholarship
- A description of how you will contribute and enhance the school community in Dubai and the UAE specifically.
For some children, being lost in the crowd of a bricks and mortar school provides the rationale for choosing King’s InterHigh, for others escaping peer pressure, or bullying. Many athletes or talented children in the Performing Arts choose King’s InterHigh because the curriculum can be adjusted around extra-curricular activities very simply – and in ways impossible in bricks and mortar schools. Some parents, equally, may choose the school because of the ROI – fees undercut the premium Tier 1s very significantly. At a time of growing inflation and the ongoing impacts/financial fall-out from Covid-19, King’s InterHigh offers a lifeline. Equally, many parents take the view that King’s InterHigh takes care of the Tier 1 education – with the results to prove its efficacy, and income can then be better invested in a whole child education and experiences outside school.
We would like to see technical streams in BTEC qualifications – not all require Labs and practical work. However, that would also require significant investment in industry partnerships – perhaps too tall an ask from an on-line school. We would also like to see the IB’s Career-related Programme being offered – but, again, technical stream education provides challenges for online education providers – however good they are. For technical stream students, bricks and mortar schools are, at least currently, impossible to match.
An on-line education will never be perfect for all children. But nor will all bricks and mortar schools. Both options have their clear, and unique, strengths. The best school for any child will always be individual. For the right child, a King’s InterHigh education is arguably today the best you can secure online for both the British and British/IB partnered curricular. The school is established and proven, backed by Inspired’s own bricks and mortar schools and teachers – and the subject breadth on offer at least matches that of many of the better known UAE school for academic subjects and the Social Sciences. Perceived trade-offs in Sport and the Performing Arts can be very simply resolved – Dubai and the broader UAE is teeming with opportunities in both areas. As above, the freedom to pursue each child’s gifts in ways that brocks and mortar schools simply cannot, is precisely why many accomplished students in the Creative Arts and Sport choose King’s Interhigh.
For the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, there is the ongoing opportunity here for UAE students and families to be part of an historic broadening of options for students in which the Diploma is delivered and accessible, inspirationally, through pure-play online learning.
King’s InterHigh is playing an instrumental, pioneering role in bringing a serious, highly effective Tier 1 premium online education right through to British A Level and the IB Diploma to the UAE for the first time. It is credible, proven, offers very strong ROI, is adjusted for GST and its opening up of subject and whole child opportunities for children, inside and outside school, takes the breath away.
© SchoolsCompared.com. 2023 – 2024. All rights reserved.
Note - first figures to A Level, second figures to IB Diploma
Year 3 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 4 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 5 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 6 AED 13,000 (£2750) / AED 13,000 (£2750)
Year 7 AED 17,500 (£3750) / AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 8 AED 17,500 (£3750) / AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 9 AED 17,500 (£3750) / AED 17,500 (£3750)
Year 10 AED 21,000 (£4500) / AED 21,000 (£4500)
Year 11 AED 21,000 (£4500) / AED 21,000 (£4500)
Year 12 AED 22,500 (£4895) (3 A Levels) / AED 39,000 (£8,400)
Year 13 AED 22,500 (£4895) (3 A Levels) /AED 39,000 (£8,400)
British, English National Curriculum:
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (est. September 2022)
Phased opening September 2022
Phased opening September 2022
Government and Politics
GCSE/IGCSE Core Subjects:
GCSE/IGCSE Core Options:
GCSE/IGCSE Additional Options:
PLUS 6 City and Guilds ASSURED options
Fully and unambiguously inclusive
1:20 maximum class size
(1) King's-Interhigh merger 2021.
Dubai Media City, Dubai
Mark O’Donoghue, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal, King's InterHigh.
Ashley Harrold, Executive Headteacher, King's InterHigh
Nadim M. Nsouli, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Inspired Education.
+971 (4) 5644163
+44 (0)1873 777 444 between 09.00 - 17.00 GMT Monday to Friday
• Tier 1 on-line British education to gold standard A Levels or the IB Diploma
• First fully online IB Diploma school in the world
• Scholarship provision
• Massively reduced fees compared with bricks and mortar counterparts
• Proven results
• Backing of major bricks and mortar global school group
• GST adjusted timings
• Technical education, both BTEC and the IB Career-related Programme, cannot be provided for
• Pay attention to contract terms and what you are agreeing to. Lower fees are available for longer-term commitment – but you will pay the price if you seek to leave early.
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