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Awards Day Fourteen! The Top Schools Award for Best School for Children of Determination in the UAE 2021. Official Entry Form now LIVE.
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Awards Day Fourteen! The Top Schools Award for Best School for Children of Determination in the UAE 2021. Official Entry Form now LIVE.

by Jon WestleyApril 27, 2021

The Top Schools Awards, the UAE’s definitive School Awards, recognising the region’s most outstanding schools, teachers and educationalists, today publishes full information for entering the fourteenth of this year’s Awards: The Top Schools Award for the Best Mainstream School for Children of Determination in the UAE 2021.

Entry for each of the remaining individual Awards are being published daily between now and the 8th May 2021. For details of the Awards published to date, click here.

This Award recognises those schools that provide an above and beyond inclusive education for students, with a welcome to children of Determination that sets the benchmark for mainstream education in the UAE. This Award is aimed at mainstream schools with a deep-seated commitment to Children of Determination. What is important is not the number of Children of Determination welcomed to your school, but the extraordinary, above and beyond, quality, care and richness of investment made in those who are.


First Steps

Please complete this application form to enter your school for The Top Schools Award for The Top Schools Award for the Best Mainstream School for Children of Determination in the UAE 2021. A PDF of the form can be downloaded at the end of this article.

Please only enter for those Awards in which you believe you have a very powerful case to be considered by judges. It is far better to enter for a single Award – and complete the application for this with passion and depth of insight, than apply for multiple awards, and stretch your ability to make your case too thin.

Not entering for an Award, does not preclude any school from being considered. All schools in the UAE are considered within the judging process, drawing on expertise and data across Which Media. Entering for an Award, however, does ensure that we have access to accurate, up-to-date information on your school – and information strengthened by your decisions on how to answer the following questions.


Please use the questions as a guide; you may wish to draw out other strengths to support your case.

Formal entry for this award must be submitted with the agreement of the Headteacher of the school.



Aim for 1000 – 2000 Words

Support the case that your school provides an outstanding quality of SEND pathways/curriculum for students to ensure that every child at your school can meet his or her individual ambitions, potential, and ability in full. Provide paragraphs answering the following: (1) How our facilities develop an outstanding education for Students of Determination at our school; (2) Our outstanding teachers; (3) Our curriculum and support focus and how it specifically meets the needs of our SEND intake policy; (4) What makes us different and where we excel; (5) Our slipstream graduation universities/colleges/industries/preparation; (6) Our financial investment in our SEND teachers and students; (7) Our inclusive ethics; (9) Our approach to parents of Students of Determination (10) Full details of out inclusive intake policy, our SEND focus and the numbers of Students of Determination currently educated at our school.



Aim for 200 – 500 Words plus relevant statistical tables

Support the case that your school provides value added achievement to ensure that every Student of Determination leaves your school meeting or exceeding their baseline (1) learning and (2) whole child expectations on joining your school. Please include one or more paragraphs explaining why your school has chosen to provide an inclusive education welcoming Students of Determination.



Aim for 250 – 500 words.

Support the case that your school ploughs back a percentage of investment into facilities and/or teacher salaries and/or resources and/or school improvements and/or specific initiatives to financially support parents/families, year-on-year, to improve and/or sustain education for children. Please detail your approach and investments. Please include a paragraph on how your school has sought to assist families and students impacted by Covid 19. Discus where you have focused the resources of your school during the last two years and the rationale for doing so. You may wish to provide context through discussion of previous investment and planned future investment over the next five years – particularly those focused on supporting your Students of Determination.



Aim for 500 words to 2000 words.

Describe how and why the SEND curriculum education you deliver sets a UAE benchmark for an outstanding education for Students of Determination. What are the stand-out features of an archetypal SEND education in a mainstream school – and how does your school meet and improve on these.  Explain how you believe and hope that SEND education will evolve over the next 10 years, and how your school is preparing for the opportunities ahead. In this area you may wish to discuss any specific courses you offer (an example might be ASDAN) or plans to expand the choice of options offered to students. Finally, consider the view that: “[o]ur school is uniquely placed to bring out the strengths of a SEND curriculum education for students. Students of Determination add so much to the ingredients of outstanding schooling, and our school would be much poorer and less outstanding without the contribution they bring to school life and to the rich academic and whole child experience of every single student at our school.



Aim for 500 Words

Focused on achievements this year, and in the last full pre-Covid year, provide information that is not included above that supports your application to be considered a benchmark mainstream school for Students of Determination in the UAE “against the odds.” Discuss how Covid 19 has impacted on the SEND pathways and education you deliver and how your school has responded.



Aim for 1000 – 2000 words.

Collate a document with evidence supporting the above, together with all areas of provision, investment, innovation and achievement that supports your school being considered the benchmark mainstream school for Students of Determination in the UAE. This should include at least 2 quotations each from current students and parents at your school.  A quotation should be included from each Head of a SEND Subject Area/pathway at your school outlining their ambitions for students and what makes their subject/pathway stand-out. Finally, a contextualising quote should be included from the School Principal highlighting the ethics, history, achievements of the school and its contribution to education, historic, current and planned, in the UAE. We are looking for passion, inspiration, meaningfulness and clear investment in the school’s sense of purpose, values and deep-seated commitment to SEND pathways/education for Students of Determination within the evidence provided in this section.


As part of the following application, you will strengthen your case considerably by sending the following survey links to your students, teachers and parents, asking them to independently provide feedback on your school as part of your entry to the Top Schools Awards 2021.


Teachers should complete the survey here:


Parents should complete the survey here:


Older students (Grade 10-12/Year 11-13 ONLY) should complete the survey here: 


The statistical results of these surveys are valued, shared with judges and used in our decision making.

In addition we use data provided to us under your school profile on the Which Media database. This can be accessed through our sister site

In particular please complete the following sections from the Admin:


  • Facilities
  • Sports offering
  • Scholarships and Bursaries
  • Details
  • Demographics
  • Memberships and accreditations
  • General info
  • Fees


It is critical that the data relied on by judges is accurate and up-to-date. If you do not have a school account on our sister site,, please request one so you can update your review and admissions data here:


In the year the UAE Space Mission orbits Mars, the Top Schools Awards 2021 launches to celebrate schools and innovation in the UAE



Please collate the above information in a Word document. High resolution (inspirational) photography, relevant film, PDF(s), together with any audio files, should be submitted separately with the Word file. Please also include a School Prospectus if that has been produced. 

When your application is completed, these should be sent, in a single email, titled SCTSA21 DETERMINATION with your School Name, to:

[email protected]

Please note: unless you specifically identify information that is confidential and sensitive and not for publication, any information sent to us may be published and become a statement of public record. It is vital therefor that information provided is accurate.



To download the complete official entry form for the Top Schools Awards 2021 – Best Mainstream School for Children of Determination in the UAE, click here.


Completed entries must be received no later than 7th July 2021.

#sctsa21 © 2021. All rights reserved.

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

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