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Shock as Dubai English Speaking College and School Latest to Raise School Fees – this time by up to an inflation-busting 8%.

In a shock announcement, Dubai English Speaking School and Dubai English Speaking College, have collectively announced that they are to raise school fees for parents – this again at a time when the for-profit schools and the KHDA continue to protect parents from the impacts of price inflation and fall-out from Covid-19. The announcement has been timed carefully to be released just before the weekend when parents and children are away from school.

In an even more surprising move, the decsion has been made to increase costs between 5.5% and 8% – higher than those announced by Dubai College – the first of the not-for-profits to increase fees.

The decision comes after

  • The Dubai College decision to increase fees  by 5%  – full story here, leaving some parents questioning whether they could afford to remain in the UAE.
  • SchoolsCompared consultation with parents on the impacts of fee rises at a time of spiralling costs for parents – full story here. We have called for published bursary programmes to help vulnerable families and children, but to date this has fallen on deaf ears.
  • Our sister site launches a strong argument for re-considering the historic belief that not-for-profit schools are either better or cheaper than their for-profit counterparts – full story here.
  • Jebel Ali School joins Taaleem and becomes proudly for-profit – arguing that it will at least meet the quality of its old not-for-profit status and promising major new investment – full story here.

The decision will leave parents at both Dubai English Speaking School (DESS) and Dubai English Speaking College [DESC] facing steep increases in fees:

  • Dubai English Speaking School is to increase fees by EIGHT Percent
  • Dubai English Speaking College is to increase fees by FIVE AND A HALF percent.

The new fee structure can be found below:

Year Group Full Academic Year Fees AED Termly Payments AED Due Date
Foundation Stage
Term 1 – 13,024
Term 2 – 12,641
Term 3 – 12,640
1st September 2022
2nd January 2023
10th April 2023

Year 1 – 6

Term 1 – 16,118
Term 2 – 15,644
Term 3 – 15,644
1st September 2022
2nd January 2023
10th April 2023
Years 7 – 11
Term 1 – 25,061
Term 2 – 24,324
Term 3 – 24,323
1st September 2022
2nd January 2023
10th April 2023
Sixth Form
Term 1 – 26,935
Term 2 – 26,144
Term 3 – 26,143
1st September 2022
2nd January 2023
10th April 2023

These fees do not include charges for GCSE and GCE examinations or any external whole child focused examinations including those in music, instrumental examinations or dance.  They also do not include supplementary costs for registration, re-registration or various “internal deposits” than can add thousands each year.

The school justifies the increase in fees on the basis that:

  • DESC reduced its fees by 12% to support families during Covid-19 between 2020 and 2022.
  • DESS reduced fees by 5% to support families during Covid between 2020 and 2022.
  • As a result of previous fee freezes and reductions staffing costs had to be “paired back”
  • As a result of previous freezes and fee increases, capital investment was “suspended.”
  • “Fee corrections are important if we are to be able to focus on doing our utmost to deliver to the high standards you [parents] have legitimately come to expect.”
  • That both schools still “represent at least good value for money.”
  • That, just like families, so too schools are facing the challenges of inflation.
  • Both schools, even with these inflation busting increases, are still “absorbing a good deal more than we [they] are passing on.”

The schools claim that:

  • The new fees will still mean that fees are 4.5% lower than they were five years ago.
  • The new fees will mean that DESS fees have “only” risen 1.2% over the last five years.

Andrew Gibbs, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Dubai English Speaking School and Dubai English Speaking College argues that “there is no sugar-coating” the increase in school fees, and accepts that the news will be “unpleasant” for parents at both schools to receive. However, he continues, the decision is the “right one… for both DESS and DESC.”

Both schools have set up an email address through which they have asked that parents communicate with the school on the new increases at [email protected].

The full letter to parents is published below:

DESSC Fees 22-23


Many parents at other not-for-profit schools are now worried that their schools will follow suit given that Dubai College, DESS and DESC have opened the floodgates – we will continue to monitor and report on the situation as it unfolds.

In the interim, we again implore schools to transparently publish Bursary Scheme assistance for parents and students who may well not be able to afford this scale of fee increase – and the implications that flow from this. 

This is a fast developing story. We have contacted parents for comment and this will be updated. If you are a family facing hardship, or if you want to comment on the decision to increase fees, please email me at  [email protected].  We always protect our sources if you wish to remain anonymous.

© 2022. 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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