The Westminster School, Al Qusais
The Westminster School – updated August 2019, KHDA 2019
The largest UK curriculum (IGCSE, AS and A’ Level) school in Dubai, The Westminster School is home to 5,123 students across some 70 nationalities including those from Pakistan, Egypt, India, UAE and “other” Arab and Asian nations. The school improved very significantly in 2014-15 and was commended as “Good” by the KHDA, the best rating Westminster has achieved since its first inspection and one continued through until 2019.
Westminster had been mooted for closure in 2014. The combined impact of KHDA restrictions on annual school fee increases because of weak (“Acceptable”) school inspection ratings, Westminster’s low fee baseline on opening, and rising teacher salaries meant it became financially unsustainable for the GEMS Group to run.
Whilst this decision was reversed, the school still offers exceptional value for money for an English national curriculum school with fees ranging between AED 8,108 at FS1 to AED 15,243 for Years 11 to 13.
That this level of fees is able to deliver “outstanding” post-16 levels of student attainment in English, Mathematics and Science, together with the highest commendation for student personal development at the same level awarded by the KHDA, is an extraordinary achievement by the school.
Westminster in 2014-15 is operating, post-16, at an equivalent KHDA grading with schools offering their students very significantly better facilities, smaller classes and more than double Westminster fees.
Current Principal, Carl Roberts, is new in post, having started in January 2019. We will upfate our review when we have received more feedback from parents, teachers and students.
On this basis, at AS and A-Level, The Westminster School currently offers the best value English curriculum based education currently available in Dubai. If GEMS can sustain this level of improvement in 2020, Westminster is certainly a school to consider for all parents seeking an affordable UK education, without the bells and whistles, but with the promise of very high levels of post-16 academic attainment.
YEAR 1: 9,886
YEAR 2: 9,886
YEAR 3: 9,886
YEAR 4: 9,886
YEAR 5: 9,886
YEAR 6: 9,886
National Curriculum of England
Travel & Tourism
A Level A* to E 100%
AS level A 16.3%, A-B 37.5%
Al Qusais, Dubai
Arab (largest nationality)
00 971 (0)4 2988333
• The Westminster School’s leadership, particularly that of the Principal and senior staff, evidences genuine, determined and considered commitment to ensuring better outcomes for students at every level of the school
• The attainment and progress of Post-16 students in English, Mathematics and Science, and English in the secondary phase, is outstanding
• Teaching, learning and assessment is at least “good” across all phases of the school
• Students’ personal and social development is a definite strength of the school; relationships are respectful, attendance and punctuality is good, students have a solid understanding of Islamic values and there is a strongly shared conviction in the importance of community responsibility, environmental awareness and Dubai’s culturally diverse community
• Across the English National Curriculum, Islamic Education and Arabic language, educational provision is skilfully adapted to meet the different needs of almost all groups of students. Pupils are given genuine and informed choices of study across Science, commerce or vocational subjects rooted in the core curriculum foundations in Mathematics and English
• The school provides good care for students with special educational needs, ensuring they progress personally, socially, emotionally and academically. The identification of students’ needs and the provision of support for individual students is a key feature of the school
• The school and its staff are determined, creative, successful and innovative in maximising the potential of facilities and resources that are significantly limited in comparison with those of other, better financed English curriculum based schools in Dubai
• The quality of teaching and learning in Islamic Education and Arabic does not meet the outstanding levels achieved Post-16 in English, Mathematics and Science
• Higher-attaining students should be more challenged
• The quality of marking and feedback needs to be more consistent
• Governance can be improved by better representing parents and fostering greater representation from the community
• Some classrooms are overcrowded and the quality of some facilities are limited by financial constraints, these restricting student attainment, learning and development
• There is no provision for students to take options in the Arts post-16, despite a clear need, student requests and talent
• The range of extra-curricular activities is limited and some activities are unaffordable to some students limiting uptake
• The continuity of staffing and high levels of staff turnover is a regular problem and one highlighted by parents and students