In an announcement which follows the increase in school fees announced for Dubai schools by its school regulator, the KHDA, the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) has today announced a hike in Sharjah school fees. The exact rise will depend on the school, but it has been confirmed that parents can expect rises of up to 5%. The rise follows years of a freeze on school increase to recognise the impacts on parents of Covid, but recent increases in inflation and the resulting hike in the costs of living and managing schools has forced the regulator to act. SPEA explained:
“We had to respond to the private sector’s needs to enhance resources and work requirements.”
As is the case in Dubai, schools are facing increases in costs running schools, not only in general day-to-day running costs, but primarily because of the acute need to increase the salaries of teachers who, like parents, have been facing still increases in rental and living costs.
In a note of reassurance for families, SPEA has cautioned that no school, however, can expel a student if families struggle with fee increases – a dialogue must take place to find a resolution.
Fee rises are also not automatic; schools can only request a rise every two years – and even then they must provide a justification which will be considered based on the performance of schools, the impact of inflation and, importantly, “the needs of families.” Across the sector, both schools, and regulators, are aware that families too are struggling as costs rise and seeking to balance the needs of schools to increase the salaries of teachers whilst ensuring that cost of education remains affordable for families.
The only certain exception will be for schools with a rating below “Acceptable” as it would be hard to justify a fee increase to parents for schools which are not meeting even the basic “Good” standard of education expected by the regulator for every school in Sharjah. The move follows a roll-out of inspections across Sharjah’s private schools this year which will impose penalties, including the inability to raise fees in future years, for schools which do not improve or which offer an Acceptable or worse standard of education for students.
Families will see the rises in school fees for the 2023-24 academic year, beginning in September 2023.
You can read the full story on Dubai’s increase in fees here – and how GEMS education has led the way in immediately announcing its response to increase salaries for its teachers – the single biggest cost facing all schools.
You can visit the SPEA official web site here, although it should be noted that the site is currently under development.
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