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Post 16 Education – Dubai’s Best Sixth Forms, High Schools

Post 16 Education – Dubai’s Best Sixth Forms, High Schools

by Jon WestleyJanuary 1, 2020

Post 16 Education – the background to the SchoolsCompared Best Sixth Form and High Schools in Dubai 2020

In this, the latest of our Post 16 Education Guides series, we look at the very best schools for 16+ provision in Dubai in 2020 – and across every syllabus and curricular.

Our Guide has been specifically aligned with the publication by the KHDA of its latest school inspection reports.

Almost all of the schools following have secured KHDA Outstanding or Very Good school status in 2019-20, and all achieve justifiable acclaim for their post-16 provision. The exception is a very special class of new schools that have been rated Good by the KHDA on their first inspections, but which we feel should have special mention in their clear capacity and foundations to secure outstanding school status in future years as provision beds in.

All of the following schools too, including our identified up-and-coming new schools, have received independent very good or outstanding feedback from parents, students and teachers by our sister site and from their, or our own tours and visits to the schools, by our teams on the ground.

In the following we have divided our choice of the best schools for 16-18 education in Dubai into the following classes:

  • Best British Sixth Forms – A Level
  • Best British Sixth Forms – IB
  • Best US High Schools – Diploma/Advanced Placement
  • Best US High Schools – IB
  • Best Indian Higher Secondary Schools – ISC
  • Best Indian Higher Secondary Schools – CBSE
  • Best French Lycée Schools- Baccalauréat Français / Bac
  • Special mention – Best new schools with potential …

As with all our Guides, our recommendations carry the proviso that even the best overall schools can only be as good as their “fit” with each individual child. There is no short cut to visiting schools and interrogating their provision with your children.

BUT at this crucial post-16 phase of education, we think that there is every reason to consider changing schools. Many children stay at their current schools when there may well be much better schools for their particular skills, vocation, ambition and potential.

The post-16 phase of education is in many ways the most critical – it is these two years that decide the immediate course of each child’s eventual graduation to university or industry. The best schools in these crucial two years have specialist 16-18 provision focused on providing each child with personalised plans for their leaving school. Getting these plans right, getting subject choices aligned properly with future career and study aspirations, will ensure that each child secures the place in industry or at university that will enable them to meet their ambitions, potential and maximise their life chances and future careers.


Some schools specialise in technical education (including BTEC and the IB CrP), some in Sciences, some in the Arts – a number too focus on the Performing Arts and Sport. Dubai (and the broader Emirates) have reached a maturity in post-16 educational provision that means that every child now has choices that should be able to meet their very different individual needs. But this does mean that parents and young men and women need to act – complacency is the biggest risk.

Many schools too, in these final two years of schooling, offer scholarships and bursaries to attract those students that best meet their own ambitions to excel in different areas of provision. For the brightest and most talented there are real options to transfer to schools that operate at globally competitive levels – including some schools that for exceptional children will offer up to 100% fee remission to ensure that no gifted and child is left behind.

Choosing the right school for each child could open doors to Oxbridge or any number of universities that excel in specific subjects that would otherwise not even be on the radar for many children. For young men and women too, set on a direct course to industry, the very best schools are pioneering close relationships with industry.

We have some genuinely outstanding schools for post 16 education in Dubai. Some are well known, many will come as a surprise.

There is so much opportunity in the Emirates and in our context here, Dubai schools, for every child to thrive in these crucial two years. The following will have achieved its purpose if it inspires only one child who would otherwise be lost to find the school that brings their own potential to life – and their own life story the foundations needed to meet their ambition.

About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of and UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at]
  • Natalie
    February 28, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    The School of Research Science is, in my opinion, nothing like as good a school as you suggest. Its student population lacks manners and obedience. I would not recommend this school despite its outward appearance. It looks extravagant on the outside due all the money they spend on it; however that actual educational system and atmosphere is poor.

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