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KHDA Inspection Reports 2017: What’s Up, Down, Outstanding, And Weak? Plus Your New School Fees

KHDA Inspection Reports 2017: What’s Up, Down, Outstanding, And Weak? Plus Your New School Fees

by Lis ONealMay 17, 2017

The much-awaited KHDA Inspection reports are published today and parents will be able to go on-line to check full details of how their child’s school has performed.  But more importantly perhaps, they can see whether their current school has been outperformed by other schools they may be considering for their children.



A total of 159 (of 185) private schools, who educate over 263,000 students, were inspected in the current academic year. The reports published today are for the non-Indian and Pakistani curriculum schools (whose reports were published in March). The latest reports include 11 schools being inspected for the first time (who between them educate some 10,000 students).

The current inspection round has been impacted by two notable factors – firstly, the implementation of the UAE National Agenda last year which sets requirements across a number of key areas – notably Innovation, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) provision (for the 15,000 children identified in need of this support), academic attainment (measured through PISA and TIMSS international testing) and the introduction of inspection for the UAE Social Studies programme that all students to grade 8/year 9 are now required to participate in.  For further information read our guide to KHDA Inspection reports – What to Expect, Plus Fee Impact.

For the first time also, schools rated as Outstanding were able to opt out of the Inspection process by completing a self-evaluation (a process that is now core to the inspections) and by partnering with schools deemed to be under-performing to coach and mentor them. This is the first formal attempt to encourage greater learning and collaboration directly between schools.


This year’s results:

What are the positives to be taken from the inspections this year?


  • The results this year show that 64% of all students and 54% of Emirati students attend schools in Dubai that are rated Good or higher (Good being the level at which the KHDA expects all schools to operate). These figures compare with 30% and 26% respectively when inspections were first carried out in 2008-2009.
  • Over 60% of schools offer a level of provision for children with SEND requirements that is good or better.
  • 66% of schools that were required to participate in the PISA and TIMMS testing met or exceeded expectations. UK and UK/IB schools have the highest attainment in English and Maths, while Indian curriculum schools were best in Science.
  • A total of 10 schools educating over 11,000 students improved their overall performance.
  • Across the curricula, 79% of UK curriculum schools (46 of 58 schools) were rated Good or higher. For Indian curriculum, 50% (15 of 30 schools) achieved a Good or higher rating and this was true of US curriculum schools also (14 of 29 schools). All 10 IB curriculum schools were rated Good or better, with the same being true of the 5 French schools.
  • 66% of schools benefit from Good or better leadership compared with 46% in 2008 when inspections started.

And the negatives?

  • 6% of students – some 15,000 children – attend the 10 schools identified as weak.
  • 4 schools’ performances declined – affecting some 7,000 students. These were Springdales, which moved from Good to Acceptable and Emirates English Speaking School, The Philippine School and English Language Private School which moved down from Acceptable to Weak.

It is disappointing that further progress has not been made among the schools deemed Acceptable and Weak. The KHDA expects all schools to achieve a minimum standard of Acceptable with a target that all schools should be rated Good or Higher.

Some 50 of the 185 schools in Dubai are currently rated Acceptable and a further 10 are rated Weak. Schools that continue to remain in the Acceptable category include well-known names such as GEMS Winchester School, GEMS Metropole School (rated for the first time), both Choueifat schools in Dubai and 12 of the 30 US curriculum schools.

There is clearly still much progress to be made.

For a list of the latest inspection ratings, together with school fees for the new academic year (2017-18) please go to the next page.


Next page: 2017 New Ratings, New Fees

About The Author
Lis ONeal

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