Now Reading
Awards Day Twenty Four! The Top Schools Award for Happiest School in the UAE 2021. Entry Form Now Live.

Awards Day Twenty Four! The Top Schools Award for Happiest 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 twenty fourth of this year’s Awards: The Top Schools Award for the Happiest School 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 what has come up, time and again, as the single most important consideration for the majority of parents in choosing a school for their children – child happiness. For all parents we have spoken with, happiness consistently falls in the top 3 make-or break reasons for a parent rating a school as the right school for their child – or otherwise. In our own visits to schools, and those of our sister site,, it is a key element in the total picture of a school on which we hang our rating and recommendation. Extraordinarily, we have visited schools and found incidences where children have been seen crying and ignored, and we regularly receive feedback from parents on bullying and how schools resolve it. Children at the most outstanding schools in the UAE thrive – they are happy because their education is personalised, no child is ever left behind – and every child matters equally. The values of the most outstanding schools are built around child welfare – every child’s welfare. This Award recognises those schools; schools in which child happiness is intrinsic to learning and school life. Truly happy schools make you realise, as a parent, just how extraordinary, magical and inspirational schools can be for children – and just what an outstanding education really means. 



Please complete this application form to enter your school for The Top Schools Award for the Happiest 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 provides an outstanding breadth and quality of subject/curriculum options for students to ensure that every child at your school can meet his or her individual ambitions, potential, and ability in full. Provide paragraphs, answered through the lens of child happiness, answering the following: (1) How our facilities develop an outstanding education for children at our school (2) Our outstanding teachers; (3) How ensuring child happiness is absolutely fundamental to our school approach; (4) What makes us different and where we excel; (5) Our approach to bullying; (6) Our financial investment in our teachers and students; (7) Our ethics; (9) Our approach to parents (10) Our links outside the school to our local community and the UAE.



Aim for 200 – 500 Words plus relevant statistical tables

Explain what it means to leave no child behind – and give two examples.



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 the whole child and academic welfare of children.



Aim for 500 words to 2000 words.

Give two examples/case studies of where the culture of your school has had a impact on child happiness.



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 school being considered a benchmark for happy schooling for every child against the odds.” Discuss how Covid 19 has impacted on the culture of your school 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 school for child happiness 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 Subject Area at your school outlining what child happiness and the culture of your school means to them. Finally, a contextualising quote should be included from the School Principal focused on child happiness, school ethics, and the achievements of the school, teachers and students. We are looking for passion, inspiration, meaningfulness and clear investment in the school’s commitment to child welfare and happiness 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 HAPPY 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 The Top Schools Award 2021 for the Happiest School in the UAE.


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]

Leave a Response