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The Indian High School (Senior Campus), Oud Metha – The Review
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Review

The Indian High School (Senior Campus), Oud Metha – The Review

by November 28, 2015
Details to consider
2017/18 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Very Good with Outstanding features

2016/17 Overall ADEC / KHDA Rating

Outstanding

2015/16 Overall KHDA / ADEC Rating

Outstanding

Rating FS

NA

Rating Primary / Elementary

NA

Rating Secondary / Middle

Very Good

Rating Post 16 / High

Very Good - Outstanding

Type of school

Private not-for-profit

WSA Good School

Yes

Full WSA Review
Average Cost Per Year

FS1: NA
FS2: NA
YEAR 1: NA
YEAR 2: NA
YEAR 3: NA
YEAR 4: NA
YEAR 5: 5,413
YEAR 6: 6,560
YEAR 7: 6,560
YEAR 8: 6,560
YEAR 9: 8,203
YEAR 10: 8,203
YEAR 11: 10,253
YEAR 12: 10,253

Curriculum

CBSE

External Exam Boards

Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi

Selective

Fully, unambiguously inclusive

Waiting list

Yes
Notes:
Admission by lottery on principles of fairness.

Value Added

Not Published

Number of Students

5631 (2018)
5791 (2017)

Teacher to Student Ratio

1:12 (2018)
1:13 (2017)
Notes:
Class sizes have reduced from 26 to 24 children as of 2018.

Largest nationality teachers

Indian

Teacher turnover

7% (Very low)

Year opened

1961

Location

Oud Metha

Student composition

Indian (largest nationality)

Gender

Mixed but sexes taught separately

School canteen

Yes

Owner

Not-for-profit

Admissions Telephone

+971 4 3377475

Web Address
Attainment Nur SEM

NA

Attainment Pri SEM

NA

Attainment Sec SEM

80%

Attainment Post-16 SEM

100%

Progress Nur SEM

NA

Progress Sec SEM

80%

Progress Post-16 SEM

80%

Arabic Native Primary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Secondary Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Post-16 Results (Native)

NA

Arabic Primary Results (Add.)

NA

Arabic Secondary Results (Add.)

50%

Arabic Post-16 Results (Add.)

60%

Islamic St. Secondary Results

60%

Islamic St. Post-16 Results

60%

Leadership

100%

Community

100%

Facilities

60%

Quality of teaching

70%

Student personal responsibility

100%

Quality of curriculum

100%

School Governance

100%

SEN Provision

70%

Strengths

• The Senior Campus offers all students outstanding teaching and academic outcomes in English, Mathematics and Science; students’ attitudes to learning are exemplary
• The Campus offers a broad range of subjects and extra-curricular activities that fully reflect students’ interests and aspirations
• Arrangements for protecting and supporting students are best-in-class
• The school nurtures relationships with parents, providing very high quality information about each child’s progress
• ICT provision is excellent and students use electronic tablets very effectively for research and communication, although use is restricted to specific student groups.
• The school has a focussed, very impressive career counselling programme to guide students in making further education choices on graduation
• Leadership and governance are synergistic and outstanding in meeting the school’s vision to inspire and educate all its students to become proactive and global citizens

Weaknesses

• The middle phase of the school does quite not match the strengths of its Post-16 counterpart, although this is also adjudged to be improving in the most recent KHDA report
• Arabic as an additional language teaching within the middle phase is not up to the standard of the Senior grades but is improving. Whilst listening skills are deemed to be strong, students lack the skills to be able to apply vocabulary and grammar to extended writing and speaking tasks
• KHDA requirements for class sizes are not always met, leading to unacceptable and damaging overcrowding. There are funding, resource and management issues in the middle phase
• Special Educational Needs provision is praised overall, but curriculum adaptation in some classes is not always implemented effectively

Rating
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Academic
A+
B
Value
A
B
ExtraCurricula
A-
C+
Languages
B+
B
Sports
A-
B
Arts & Drama
A-
B+
Teaching
A-
B
Communications
C+
B-
Warmth
A-
B
Differentiation
B
B
SEND Provision
B+
B-
Scl Community
A-
B-
Scl Facilities
C
C+
Opportunities

• The Indian High School (Senior Campus), in its post-16 educational provision, is arguably the benchmark UAE Indian secondary school. Post-16 educational provision is terrific across the board, not only in traditional English, Mathematics and Science – but also in whole-child extra-curricular provision – and delivering on both of these, in a school of this size and complexity, require exceptional teaching, leadership and governance. This is a very well-managed, impressive – genuinely outstanding - school
• The school is not perfect, however; it remains let down by overcrowding. This is being addressed by commitment from the Board of Trustees to build sufficient new classrooms to remove the issue between 2017 and 2020. Three years, however, is too long – and the issue is not only classrooms, but the wider resources, including teaching staff, that will be required to resolve the issue. Some headway has been made in this area as of 2019.
• The school attempts to balance a hugely admirable (not-for-profit) commitment to helping as many possible children meet their potential as possible – but, when it gets the numbers wrong, with a door too open, resources are simply insufficient to meet numbers and commitment
• On balance, however, when the Indian High School (Senior Campus) gets it right, it blazes a trail for Indian education in the UAE. It is this at times extraordinary ability to deliver for its children, notwithstanding the school’s imperfections, that Inspectors ultimately prioritise in historically awarding the school, in our view deservedly, its “Outstanding” commendation. It now needs to get its data in order to re-achieve the Outstanding rating the school in our view certainly deserves. Bottom line, it is hard to conceive of the impact on families if Dubai did not have this school.

A-
Our Rating
B
User Rating
You have rated this
Is this school on your shortlist?
Top of shortlist
53%
In my Top 5
7%
Shortlisted
20%
A possibility
0%
Pass
7%
No way
13%

Updated January 2019 – The Indian High School examination results, KHDA 2018 and SchoolsCompared.com verdict

“In this turbulent world, opportunity exists for those who can thrive in ambiguity – those who create, innovate and handle risks.

In other words, opportunities exist for the projective thinker.

At the Indian High School, Dubai, we are committed to promoting a generation of such thinkers… Projective Thinkers, who will grow and become Proactive Global Citizens.”

Dr. Ashok Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, The Indian High School

The Indian High School (Senior Campus) in 2018 secured a downgrade in its KHDA Outstanding rating to Very Good with Outstanding features. The fall in rating followed its achievement of Outstanding school status for six previous consecutive years. In the following we look at the background – but it should be borne in mind that even its new rating places the Indian High School amongst a very limited number of the UAEs highest performing schools. 

The Indian High School Dubai is a private K-12 Indian curriculum CBSE school and the first private school founded in Dubai. It has grown rapidly. Today the Senior Campus employs 454 teachers to educate 5631 children, by any standards a very large school. It’s worth noting that students numbers are down by over 100 students and teacher numbers up by around 20 teachers since 2017 – investment is not at issue here. The reduction in numbers follows historic concerns of overcrowding at Middle School levels. As of 2018, the school’s overall advertised average of 1:13 teacher-pupil ratio has improved to 1:12 – this sort of high investment in teachers reflected in its achieving outstanding performance from its pupils in English, Mathematics and Science.

Economies of scale partly explain the low price-point of its fees, which are just 10,253 AED at Grade 12. In simple value for money terms, for parents seeking a premier league Indian, predominantly expatriate, education for their children, the school’s offer is extraordinary and arguably unmatched. 

The Indian High School’s resolutely not-for-profit ethic shines through – and fees are aligned with afford-ability, first, and second, the needs of the school to re-invest. You cannot have a school without children, you cannot have an inclusive school that refuses children on the basis of fees, and you cannot provide a best-in-class education without investing in the best teachers and updated facilities to educate. It’s a complex balancing act that the school has managed to achieve perfectly. Something has had to give and it has been the size of the school and broader investment outside core teaching staff.  

Little wonder that the Indian High School is the most over-subscribed school in the UAE. It’s a credit to The Indian High School then, that it remains resolutely inclusive. It could so easily have changed its whole approach to be academically selective – but then certainly much of what makes The Indian High School sparkle would surely be lost. Entry to the school, in practice, is decided by lottery on the basis of fairness, where other schools more often introduce academic testing to resolve Waiting Lists (even when academically otherwise inclusive).

Although The Indian High School advertises itself as co-educational, classes are in practice split and girls and boys taught separately. This model is not driven by dogma, but by what has simply been proven to work best for children.

Results are exceptional, but most telling is the 100% university slipstream with a strong circa 40% of students progressing to universities in the UK, US and Canada. As with all exceptional schools, however, it is in the area of whole child provision that the school shines brightest – provision in Performing Arts, taking just one example, is absolutely top tier. The same holds true in Sport – and predictably, cricket is loved and outstandingly well catered for in equal measure.

The Indian High School is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi, a member of the Round Square global network of schools (https://www.roundsquare.org/) and follows the CBSE Curriculum.

One feature of the school we wish to praise is post-16 subject choice. It is a frustration with Indian curriculum schools that subject choice is usually diminished, with young men and women, in the most part, given a restrictive choice of Science or Commerce streams. This is driven for the most part by parents who are often focused on Medicine or Accountancy as certain careers to ensure the success of their children in later life. Of course, self evidently, not all children will necessarily skilled in, to be Doctors or Accountants and the price paid by these children will be high. 

Often too in Indian schools, there is not even provision for higher level English.

The Indian High School will have none of it. Instead we have a fabulous mix of subjects across Business, Sciences – but the Humanities and Social Sciences too. We particularly praise provision for Psychology – a critical bridging subject between the Arts and Sciences and one particularly in favour with top tier universities – and Entrepreneurship, a forward looking subject and one that many alternative curricular schools would do well to adopt. Subject choice at the Indian High School is impressive:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering Drawing
  • Economics
  • Business Studies
  • Accountancy
  • Home Science
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Informatics Practices (Information and Communications Technology(ICT))
  • Marketing
  • Entrepreneurship

It should be noted that The Indian High School has very different, less successful though improving, “Junior” and “International” campuses/branches situated in Al Garhoud and Dubai Silicon Oasis respectively.

So what happened to see a downgrade to a school that clearly performs for children?

In very simple terms, The Indian High School, together with a number of other other Outstanding, very high performing schools, “failed to follow KHDA guidance for inclusion and the
SEND categories, so that teaching and support were not effectively matched to need.” Essentially, outside this, the way the school managed data did not allow the most effective benchmarking of child progress and attainment.

What all this means is that schools need to have systems in place to measure the performance of every child individually over time against predicted flight paths of what a child should achieve, based on their ability on entering the school. If a school does not have accurate data, it simply cannot respond to the needs of individual children in a structured, fail-safe way. It also cannot be held to account. The bigger picture here is that, very creditably, the KHDA are introducing systems to ensure that it can effectively itself check on the ways children are being looked after by schools. To do that it needs verifiable data which can also be used comparatively to ascertain the relative performance of schools.

In practice, we would expect the Indian High School to rapidly rectify this. By the gtime of its next inspection an Outstanding rating is not out of reach – but teacher workloads are increased with the level of data management that is inspected of them and The Indian High School will need to make allowances for this.

The Indian High School Bottom Line? The SchoolsCompared.com verdict 2019.

Reviewing a school must be relative. It would be unfair to look at this school in the context of a school charging 10 times its fees. However, if a school delivers a poor education at low fees, that can never make it a good one. The reason why The Indian High School is such an important school for the UAE is that it provides an outstanding education at a fee level that is affordable for families who would otherwise simply not have access to this level of education. In many ways it has always been a school that is seen as delivering the “holy grail” of low fees with both outstanding results and whole child education. 

This has not changed and parents should in our view not in any way be dissuaded from applying to this remarkable school. The Indian High School breadth of subject choice across Science, Commerce and the Humanities is stand-out, results of children in 2018, as each year, fell within the first division of each, care for children and opersonal development is top notch – and the happiness and sense of achievement felt by children something to behold. 

This is a fabulous school, albeit one that needs to get its data in order so that it can achieve even more for its children.

Very highly recommended.  

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About The Author
Jon Westley
Jon Westley is the Editor of SchoolsCompared.com and WhichSchoolAdvisor.com UK. You can email him at jonathanwestley [at] schoolscompared.com

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