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How to Choose the Best School for Your Child. School Leaders Reveal All. TV Special. Part Six.
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How to Choose the Best School for Your Child. School Leaders Reveal All. TV Special. Part Six.

by Jon WestleySeptember 4, 2020

Background: How to Choose the Best School for Your Child. 

How to Choose the Best School for Your Child. School Leaders Reveal All. Quote from Steve Jobs about how school leadership needs the most extraordinary ambition to deliver for children.

In the fifth of our major new series of video interviews with school leaders drawn from across the UAE, exclusively from SchoolsCompared.comTVTM , we get to the bottom of the questions you should be asking schools to separate the wheat from the chaff. The single lesson? The best school for your child will be a different school for another – and asking the right questions is the only bullet proof way to ensure your children get the best possible education.

In the following weeks we aim to build a definitive picture – from those who are running our schools – of all the questions parents should be asking – and the answers you should be looking for to ensure you make the right decision. Together with top tips and insider secrets from those in a position to know best, we aim to provide parents with the definitive guide to choosing the right schools in the UAE – for their child.

As more and more parents are now seeking to move schools, we have aimed to get the information that will help these parents, as well as those arriving in the UAE and seeking a school for the first time.

We are releasing these guides in blocks of three video interviews. By the end of the series we aim to have covered the broadest possible range of school types, from premium Tier Ones to value schools – and across different curricular or specialism.

In this Guide we speak with:

  • The UAE Ivy League Not-for-Profit Deira International School
  • Taaleem Schools (Greenfield Community School, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Uptown School, Raha International School, Al-Mizhar American Academy, Dubai British Schools and The Children’s Garden Nurseries)
  • The award-winning Victory Heights Primary School

 

The Questions we Asked …

We asked schools the following questions:

  • Can you describe your role and the leadership experience you bring to advising parents?
  • What are the top 3 questions parents should ask schools when they visit?
  • What are good answers  to these questions?
  • What really matters when parents are looking for the right school for their child?
  • What is the single most important piece of advice you can give parents when deciding on the best schools for their children?

None of the school leaders we interviewed were made aware of how other school leaders answered these questions.

 

Top Schools in the UAE – School Leaders Reveal All. Part 6.

Best Schools in Dubai Live Recordings

In Part 6 of this Guide, we ask another three school leaders to guide parents and reveal all about how they can interrogate schools to find out just how well each will really meet the needs, and deliver on the full potential, of their children.

Interview 16. Simon O’Connor. Director. Deira International School.

Simon O’Connor is a highly experienced School Director with over 21 years of experience leading schools in both the UAE and the UK. Prior to joining Deira International School, Mr O’Connor spent seven years leading GEMS Jumeirah College, the KHDA Outstanding-rated GEMS flagship British curriculum school, retaining its Outstanding rating and achieving exam results in the top 2% worldwide. Under his leadership, the school also gained the coveted accreditation of HPL ‘World Class School’ in 2018/19 raising the standards of academic achievement and improve the quality of learning and teaching. As Director of Deira International School, one of the UAE’s coveted Ivy League not-for-profit schools whose income is invested entirely in its children, his ambition is to secure the school’s reputation as the leading British school in the region.

Our independent review of the British curriculum not-for-profit Deira International School in Dubai Festival City can be found here.

The official Deira International School web site can be found here.

Interview 17. Alan Williamson. Chief Executive Officer. Taaleem Schools (Greenfield Community School, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Uptown School, Raha International School, Al-Mizhar American Academy, Dubai British Schools and The Children’s Garden Nurseries.)

Alan Williamson graduated from Glasgow University with an Honours degree in History and Russian Language and attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  He has led several schools as Principal in the UK and international sector. Mr Williamson was previously CEO of the Kings’ Schools group in Dubai, and before that, CEO of a large multi Academy Trust in the UK. He brings with him a wealth of experience, as a teacher, headmaster and superintendent of schools. Mr Williamson believes passionately that the success of an education company is intrinsically linked to happy and flourishing schools where the welfare of students is the number one priority, and where staff are the most prized asset. As well as being passionate about teaching and learning, Mr Williamson has been actively involved in school leadership related to Special Educational Needs and Inclusion. In his current role as CEO at Taaleem, he supervises the strategic direction of the company.

Our independent review of Dubai British School Emirates Hills can be found here.

Our independent review of Dubai British School Jumeirah Park can be found here.

Our independent review of Dubai British Foundation can be found here.

Our independent review of Uptown School in Dubai can be found here.

Our independent review of Al Mizhar American Academy can be found here.

Our independent review of Jumeira Baccalaureate School can be found here.

Our independent review of The Children’s Garden Nursery in can be found here.

The official Dubai British School Emirates Hills web site can be found here.

The official Dubai British School Jumeirah Park web site can be found here.

The official Dubai British School Foundation web site can be found here.

The official Uptown School in Dubai web site can be found here.

The official Al Mizhar American Academy web site can be found here.

The official Jumeira Baccalaureate School web site can be found here.

The official Children’s Garden web site can be found here.

Interview 18. Hayley Martin. Head of Pastoral Care. Victory Heights Primary School.

Hayley Martin graduated from Oxford University with a BEd in Education. She is passionate about the ‘creative classroom’ and incorporating the arts into all areas of the British curriculum. Before moving to Dubai, Hayley taught in several schools in Oxfordshire. Following her move overseas, Ms Martin taught for seven years in Cairo at the Modern English School, leading the FS2 team. Ms Martin has been part of the Senior Leadership Team of Victory Heights Primary School for eight years and is the lead for teaching and learning on the Board of Governors.

Our independent review of the award-winning Victory Heights Primary School in Dubai can be found here.

The official Victory Heights Primary School web site can be found here.

©SchoolsCompared.com 2020. All rights reserved.

To read Part One of this Guide to Choosing the Best Schools in the UAE, click here.

To read Part Two of this Guide to Choosing the Best Schools in the UAE, click here.

To read Part Three of this Guide to Choosing the Best Schools in the UAE, click here.

To read Part Four of this Guide to Choosing the Best Schools in the UAE, click here.

To read Part Five of this Guide to Choosing the Best Schools in the UAE, click here.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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