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Delhi Private School Academy LLC, Academic City
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Review

Delhi Private School Academy LLC, Academic City

by April 14, 2016
Strengths

• New build
• Brand reputation

Weaknesses

• KHDA “Acceptable” school more than three years after launch
• Poor, uninspiring design, internally and externally built to a budget
• Limitations in basic materials provision
• Variable teaching with high levels of staff turnover
• Fees out of step with the quality of provision and offering poor value with the best in the sector
• Poor transparency

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
C-
B+
Value
C-
C+
ExtraCurricula
C
C-
Languages
C
C-
Sports
C
D
Arts & Drama
C-
C+
Teaching
C-
C-
Communications
D+
F+
Warmth
C-
A+
Differentiation
D+
B-
SEND Provision
D+
C+
Scl Community
C-
A-
Scl Facilities
C
D
Opportunities

• A school which we had very high expectations for, currently misses the mark significantly across the spectrum of its provision.
• Investment, and ratcheting up in the quality of teaching and management, is required for the school to come close to being able to justify its fees.

C-
Our Rating
C+
User Rating
You have rated this
Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
0%
In my Top 5
0%
Shortlisted
33%
A possibility
0%
Pass
67%
No way
0%

Updated May 2017

Note 1: The school has now closed and the site will be taken over by Dubai English Speaking Collage (DESC), review here.

Note 2: Prospective parents should note that the school had changed its name from Delhi Public School Academy. The school was originally launched as the Union International Indian School as a joint venture between the Delhi Public School Society and Union Holdings.

Note 3: The school has closed for new applications. From March 2017 all existing students will transfer to DPS Sharjah and DPS Jebel Ali. As it stands, the school is being shut permanently by the current owners. The following information is for reference only and will be updated should the school be re-opened or taken over by new owners. 

Delhi Private School Academy [DPSA] is mid-way through a phased opening. A 3,500 capacity school Indian school, DPSA currently educates around 420 students to Year 9 only. The school will eventually offer complete through provision to the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education [ICSE].

Situated on a 10.5 acre site within Dubai Academic City [DIAC] in Al Ruwayyah, the school is functional in design and lacks the flair of many other new schools. In many ways it is a throwback to traditional Indian school design and it is arguable that the owners have missed a trick in not recognising the value of investing in good architecture as a means to develop school identity and pride amongst students. As it stands, whatever the value of the school, it is not to be found in the austerity of its buildings.

Currently it is also not to be found in its performance, although if we were to be generous we could say the school is in launch mode. Given its sister schools, Delhi Private School Sharjah (a WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Good school, its highest rating) and Delhi Private School Dubai (A KHDA “Very Good” school as of 2016-17), and notwithstanding the inevitable teething problems of a new school, the current level of provision is not meeting the ambition of its owners.

Those owners, Delhi Public School Society [DPS Society] (DPSS), have a formidable reputation for providing quality education, but at a price. Scoring has always reflected that equation of provision to cost.

It is here that we have some concerns that again the school, at its current level of provision, does not fare well. Current fee levels at its existing Dubai school range from 9,682 AED to 13,555 AED. Current fee levels in Sharjah of between 9,800 AED to 12,900 AED are broadly similar. Dubai Public School Academy fees, in stark distinction, range between 21,674 AED and 34,059 to Grade 9 only, a comparative trebling of fees.

It is also a level of fees that pushes the school into very different competitive territory, particularly when schools such as the (albeit not-for-profit) Indian High School in Oud Metha can deliver a KHDA “Outstanding” education for 8,551 AED at Grade 12. Parents will (rightfully) expect very considerable investment in teaching staff both in number and quality to even start to make the calculation stack up.

Class sizes are on average 29, exceeding the KHDA recommended maximum of 25. Teacher provision ranges between 1:7 and 1:15 and it is difficult to gauge accurately school intentions given its phased launch. Notwithstanding that Indian schools generally push at the limits of KHDA recommendations when it comes to capacity and classroom sizes, given the fees we would have expected this not to be the case with the new Academy.

Facilities are described by the KHDA as only “reasonable.” From a school opening within something of a Dubai Renaissance in education, with operators pushing at the highest benchmarks of international schooling, Inspectors (and prospective parents) have high expectations. The new Academy falls short.

Prospective parents should remember that the aim of the owners is a 3,500 capacity school. Two swimming pools now will soon feel like a minimum requirement. Other facilities include a playing field, library (with shortages of Arabic books and materials) and classrooms “not adequately equipped with the learning technologies” required by students. Internally too, the school shouts “built to a budget.” At this level of fees we believe that prospective parents should expect more.

Academically, as of 2016-17, over three years after opening, the picture is not as one would hope. KHDA scoring in core academic and management does not rise beyond acceptable, and in many areas the school is identified as “weak.”

It is early days, but three years should have been sufficient time to build capacity and provision to a KHDA “Good” standard. It is telling that the school in a climate of significant demand too, has simply not been able to attract the number of pupils we would have expected.

The DPSS has a good reputation in the Emirates and the school’s current level of provision does not reflect this. The owners have not left it too late to invest in the technology and broader educational materials – and the density and quality of teaching staff – to turn things around.

As it stands, this is not a school that we can wholeheartedly recommend to prospective parents. Parents at this fee level, with this brand, expect significantly more.

Go to the FULL REVIEW on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com Go to CLOSURE NEWS on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

 

 

Details to consider
Type of school

Private, not-for-profit

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: 21,674
FS2: 21,674
YEAR 1: 24,770 + 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 2: 24,770 + 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 3: 27,867+ 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 4: 27,867+ 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 5: 30,963+ 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 6: 30,963+ 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 7: 30,963+ 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 8: 34,059+ 1,750 Lab Fee
YEAR 9: 34,059
YEAR 10: Phased launch 2017-18
YEAR 11: Phased launch 2018-19
YEAR 12: Phased launch 2019-20
YEAR 13: NA

Curriculum

Indian
Indian Certificate of Secondary Education [ICSE]

External Exam Boards

Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations [CISCE]

Selective

Inclusive
Notes:
(1) KG I: admission by Interactive Session
(2) KG II to Grade IX: written assessment based on the syllabus of previous grade plus interview, both weighted in deciding whether child will be admitted to the school
(3) Admission tests are conducted at the end of the Admissions process

Waiting list

No

Value Added

Not published (whichshooladvisor projected LOW)

Number of Students

Capacity: 3500
Current: 426 students (in phased launch)

Teacher to Student Ratio

FS: 1:9
Primary: 1:15
Middle: 1:7

Notes:
(1) School is in phased launch and teacher: student ratio is not reflective of eventual school provision
(2) whichschooladvisor notes classroom sizes up to 29 students, well above the KHDA recommended 25 student maximum

Largest nationality teachers

Indian

Teacher turnover

57%

Year opened

2012

Location

Academic City, Al Ruwayyah, Dubai

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality)
Special Educational Needs [SEN]: 20

Gender

Mixed, co-educational

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Delhi Public School Society [DPS Society] (DPSS), New Delhi
Shri V. K. Shunglu, Chairman

Admissions Telephone

+971 (0) 4 363 2500

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

33.3%

Attainment Pri SEM

33.3%

Attainment Sec SEM

40%
Notes:
(1) Scoring is for Middle School provision in phased launch

Attainment Post-16 SEM

Phased launch 2018

Progress Nur SEM

33.3%

Progress Pri SEM

40%

Progress Sec SEM

40%
Notes:
(1) Scoring is for Middle School provision in phased launch

Progress Post-16 SEM

Phased launch 2018

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

Phased launch 2018

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

40%

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

33.3%
Notes:
(1) Scoring is for Middle School provision in phased launch

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

Phased launch 2018

Islamic St. Primary Results

40%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

40%
Notes:
(1) Scoring is for Middle School provision in phased launch

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

Phased launch 2018

Leadership

40%

Community

40%

Facilities

40%

Quality of teaching

40%

Student personal responsibility

60%

Quality of curriculum

40%

School Governance

20%

SEN Provision

40%

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