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Awards Day Twenty Three! The Top Schools Award for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 2021. Entry Form Now Live.

Awards Day Twenty Three! The Top Schools Award for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 2021. Entry Form Now Live.

by Jon WestleyMay 6, 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 third  of this year’s Awards: The Top Schools Award for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 2021.

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

This Award is about arguably the single best measure of a school’s academic performance for children: Value Add. The Award was originally launched as part of our commitment to create awareness with parents that looking at examination league tables to measure the success of a school, or decide whether it was a good fit for children, was a relatively poor tool when looked at in isolation. We have long been proponents of seeking a way to more easily share with parents the Value Add of each school in a way that is comprehensible and with an agreed methodology that could be shared and used by all schools  – but it has proven no easy (in all honesty, an impossible) task. So this Award does the next best thing. We want to hear from all schools that over-achieve for children against the baseline targets for children set on their joining their school.

But we also go further than this, in asking, as a condition of entry for this Award, that schools are able to demonstrate added value in their whole child curriculum – and be able to explain why their whole child curriculum is as important as its core academic counterpart.



Please complete this application form to enter a school for The Top Schools Award for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 2021.

A PDF of the form can be downloaded at the end of this article.

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.

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



Aim for 500 – 1000 Words

Support the case that your school offers a breadth of academic, technical, vocational and whole child options for students to ensure that every child can meet his or her individual ambitions, potential, and ability. Show how the breadth of options meets the specific needs of your intake policy.



Aim for 500 words plus tables and graphs

Support the case that every child meets or exceeds the baseline academic expectations established on joining the school through to age 16/leaving school, and, where applicable, their flightpath expectation set at age 14 and graduating school at age 18. We expect and understand that schools will evidence this differently, however we ask that a percentage score is given for children highlighting those whom fall short of, meet, and exceed their predicted grades for externally set examinations with an explanation of methodology used to calculate this for the last three years. The data should be comprehensive and include notes for students who were not entered for examinations. You may wish to reference your SEND and EAL intake in so far as this impacts on your scoring, together with other factors you believe that add context.



Aim for 1000 – 1500 words

Focused on achievements this year, and in a full pre-Covid year, 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 for outstanding Value Add. A contextualising quote should be included from the School Principal highlighting in precis the ethics, history, achievements of the school, the importance of the school’s commitment to leaving no child behind and the school’s 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 delivering outstanding Value Add for students.


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 VALUEADD 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 to download the complete official entry form for The Top Schools Award for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 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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