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Awards Day Twenty Five! The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School in the UAE 2021. Entry Form Now Live.

Awards Day Twenty Five! The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School in the UAE 2021. Entry Form Now Live.

by Jon WestleyMay 8, 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 penultimate, twenty fifth, of this year’s Awards: The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School in the UAE 2021.

Entry for each of the remaining individual Awards are being published daily between now and the 9th May 2021. For details of the Awards published to date, click here.

This Award recognises a pandemic that has fundamentally altered the reality of what education means for schools, teachers, parents and students over the last year in schools across the UAE. Further out, Covid-19 has also raised significant bigger picture questions about the shape of education to come. Could we be educating differently? Are the ways we examine students relevant? Is there a role for distance learning in education, or greater use of technology in schools? Should we be investing more in mental health and a culture of care in schools, not just now, but also to manage the fallout from Covid-19 that may be with children for years to come? How can we support a recovery from the medium, and longer term, actual, and potential, impacts of Covid-19 on students this year This Award recognises the outstanding ways schools have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic for families and students – and the ways schools are applying that experience in their planning for future change.



Please complete this application form to enter your school for The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School 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 has provided an outstanding response to Covid-19. Provide paragraphs answering the following: (1) How we have provided continuity of education throughout the Covid-19 pandemic in so far as it was possible to do so; (2) Our outstanding teachers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic; (3) How we have maintained links with students during Covid-19;  (4) How we have maintained links with parents during Covid-19; (5) What we have found the biggest challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic – and how we have addressed these; (6) Our financial support for families during Covid 19; (7) New technology and investment as a direct result of Covid-19; (8) How we have specifically responded to impacts on Children of Determination including Gifted and Talented children;  (9) How we have specifically responded to impacts in subject areas dependent on child interaction, including Sport and the Performing Arts; (10) The impacts of Covid-19 on examinations and how we have responded.



Aim for 200 – 500 Words 

Identify the medium and longer term challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on students and how you are responding to these.



Aim for 500 words to 2000 words.

Covid-19 has resulted in educationalists worldwide questioning many of the assumptions and/or traditional views underpinning approaches to Education. In many cases it has led to calls for areas widely perceived as requiring change, but always pushed into the long grass, to now be brought forward. Choose three areas in Education that you identify as ripe for change, together with the impacts on students in future years of adopting a different approach in these areas to that of today.



Aim for 1000 – 2000 words.

Collate a document with evidence supporting the above, together with identification of all areas of provision, investment, innovation and achievement that supports your school being considered the benchmark school for your approach to Covid-19 and protecting students from the excesses of its worst possible impacts on their education.  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 Subject Area at your school outlining their perception of the impact of Covid-19 on students – and how they have responded. Finally, a contextualising quote should be included from the School Principal focused on Covid-19, and how the school has responded to protect children, teachers and students from its impacts as far as humanly possible. We are looking for passion, inspiration, meaningfulness, understanding and clear investment in the school’s commitment to responding to Covid-19 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 COVID 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.



Click here to download the complete official entry form for The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School in the UAE 2021.


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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