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10 Worst value ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees, GCSE and A-Level exam chaos, How to apply for free Dubai school fees, Jail time for School Bus Driver, Wilfred Owen poetry downgrade – and Long Covid in teachers: WHAT MADE THE NEWS FOR SCHOOLS, PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN EDUCATION THIS WEEK?

10 Worst value ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees, GCSE and A-Level exam chaos, How to apply for free Dubai school fees, Jail time for School Bus Driver, Wilfred Owen poetry downgrade – and Long Covid in teachers: WHAT MADE THE NEWS FOR SCHOOLS, PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN EDUCATION THIS WEEK?

by Tabitha BardaJune 24, 2022

The Schools Report brings you the official Weekly Briefing on the Hottest News in Education.

Every Friday we bring you the latest stories in education in the UAE and around the world in the last 7 days. Here’s what’s been happening this week…

This Week in Education. UAE Education News. First. Every Friday. Only from

The ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees that are the worst value for money

New research says that degrees in English are now better than Mickey Mouse degrees because of the poor salaries they command in business and industry

The high-brow prestige and academic demands of an English Literature or Architecture course might mean they’re not usually viewed as ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees. But they are some of the worst subjects to study at university when it comes to graduate earning power and value for money.

New research has revealed the ten degrees that are the worst value for money, with those on the lowest-ranking course making an average annual salary of £24,785 (AED 111,348) five years after graduation, writes The Telegraph.

The average university degree leaves graduates with £45,000 (more than AED 200,000) in debt, but even half a decade after leaving university, those who studied English Literature will only be earning an average annual salary of AED 117,509, while those who studied Architecture will be on an average of AED 119,112, according to job search engine Adzuna.

Adzuna analysed more than 120,000 CVs to find the jobs that graduates are working in five years after leaving university. It then matched these with average salaries.

The research revealed that photography degrees offer the worst value for money, as graduates earn an average salary of £24,785 five years after graduation. It was followed by courses in: translation (£24,815), film (£24,851), fine art (£24,999), Criminology (£25,069), Music (£25,348), English Literature (£26,169), Events Management (£26410), Fashion (£26,435) and Architecture (£26,523).

Roughly 40% of university degrees do not lead to an average yearly salary above £30,000 (AED 135,000) within five years, the analysis found.

The ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees that are the worst value for money (

Read behind the paywall here.

Abu Dhabi’s West Yas Academy – a US Curriculum Aldar Education school gets 2022 major review from SchoolsCompared

Photograph of students at West Yas Academy in Yas Islan in Abu Dhabi. The school is an Aldar Education school and one of its premium Tier 1 Academy schools. Offering an American curriculum, here we see students engaged in Art projects based on contemporary US literature and political science.

The school is one of Aldar Education’s Tier 1 Premium ‘Academy, schools and the group as a whole today has grown into one of the UAE’s leading providers of private education with over 20,000 students across a network of eight Academies and Aldar Education partner and stand-alone schools. Aldar Education established its first school in the Emirates, The Pearl Academy, in 2007 – a school ranked Outstanding by ADEK (Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge), the Abu Dhabi regulator of schools.

West Yas Academy is a kindergarten to Grade 12, mixed co-educational US curriculum school and follows the Massachusetts State Curriculum (a first for the Emirates), arguably the most highly regarded and successful public school curriculum in the United States. The Massachusetts Curriculum draws on a rich history of academic excellence and rigor, and has historically benefited from proximity to and interaction with higher education institutions including both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Historically, the curriculum was established by a coalition of three major schools and universities in 1952: Lawrenceville School, Phillips Academy and Phillips Exeter Academy with the support of Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Graduates of West Yas Academy are awarded the American High School Diploma, the globally recognised standard qualification for entry into US universities and colleges.

The school is based in the heart of the entertainment hub of Abu Dhabi with attractions ranging from Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Etihad Arena, Yas Mall (literally on the door step) and Yas Marina Formula 1®Circuit to the new Warner Brothers Theme Park. A large Sea World  Aquarium is close to completion (2022)

West Yas Review for Parents I


Abu Dhabi announces incredible, immersive new arts and cultural destination to inspire new generation of innovators

Abu Dhabi has announced the launch of the teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi project – an immersive, multi-sensory experience at the intersection of art and technology that will be the latest offering to become part of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Cultural District.

The 17,000 sqm ‘home of infinite curiosity’ – which will be strategically located between Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – will feature original and constantly changing art and technology that is unique to Abu Dhabi and will inspire the next generation of creators and innovators. The installations will be housed within an architectural masterpiece that is designed to flow around the artworks.

Visitors to teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi will be go on a journey through teamLab’s new concept of environmental phenomena, which offers new perspectives on the world. The featured artworks, which will be created through an extensive experimentation process, will be shaped by the changing environment.

The adapted and unique architecture, designed exclusively for teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi, plays an important role in providing the artworks with an environment in which to evolve freely and organically. Each experience will be unique to each visitor, changing with every visit, as they discover a place in which to explore and transcend the limits of their imagination.

For the teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi concept, DCT Abu Dhabi has partnered with Miral to develop the architecture and facilities, alongside teamLab, the globally acclaimed, interdisciplinary Tokyo-based art collective, known for their unique artistic vision. Construction on the project is due to complete in 2024.

A preview activation offering a ‘taster’ of what the new destination will feature is open to the public at Mamsha Al Saadiyat from 24 June to 17 July.

Teacher strike warning as prices hit 40-year high

The UK’s largest teachers’ union is threatening to strike if action if members don’t receive a fully-funded inflation-plus pay rise

They said that “failing sufficient action”, the union will consult its members in the autumn term “on their willingness to take industrial action” and will be ”strongly encouraging them to vote yes”, reports TES magazine.

It comes as the UK’s retail price index soared to 11.7 per cent and the consumer price index to 9.1 per cent.

The union has calculated “that teacher pay has fallen by a fifth in real terms since 2010, even before the effects of this latest bout of inflation”.

The NEU said a “combination of unsustainable hours”, high “work intensity” and “ever-falling pay levels” are damaging schools and pupils.

Schools in the UAE are also feeling the crunch, as school fees in Dubai have been frozen for the third year running, leaving little wiggle room to give teachers salary rises.

Although the UAE’s inflation rate is among the lowest levels globally – expected to be at 3.7% this year before dipping to 2.8% in 2023, according to the International Monetary Fund – families, schools and teachers are noticing the impact of the cost-of-living increase, and school heads say it is becoming increasingly difficult to retain and attract quality teaching staff.

NEU teacher strike warning as prices hit 30-year high I Tes

UAE: School bus driver jailed for running over student, causing her death

School bus safety

The Ajman First Court of Appeal ordered a school bus driver who ran over an Emirati student near to her house to be imprisoned for 6 months, and to pay Dh200,000 as legal blood money to her family.

The accused is a school bus driver who works for the Emirates Transport Corporation.

The driver ran over the student, Sheikha Hassan, on 15 February 2022, in front of her family’s house upon her return from school in the Hamidiya area of ​​Ajman.

According to investigation, the student, after the end of the school day, boarded the school bus. When the bus stopped next to her house, she got off and walked in front of the bus. The bus driver moved forward without paying attention, which led to the bus hitting her. She died after suffering severe head injuries.

The investigations also revealed that the accused did not abide by the traffic signs and traffic safety rules, and that he drove the school bus without taking the utmost care and caution, causing the victim’s death.

UAE: School bus driver jailed for running over student, causing her death (

Shock survey: University Students want more restrictions on freedom of speech

UAE university applications, universityin the UK, studying abroad

Ministers have warned that students are showing “shocking growth in support for censorship” after a survey revealed that many favoured safety and avoidance of discrimination over unrestrained free speech.

The survey of UK university students by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) found that current students are more likely to support measures that restrain freedom of speech or expression on campus, and approve of removing offensive materials and memorials, compared with their predecessors six years ago, when it last conducted the survey.

Nick Hillman, Hepi’s director, said the survey showed “a very clear pattern” of a majority of students preferring interventions such as trigger warnings on course content and restrictions on speakers.

“In 2016, we found considerable ambivalence and confusion about free speech issues. Now it is clear most students want greater restrictions to be imposed than have tended to … in the past,” Hillman said.

“This may be primarily for reasons of compassion, with the objective of protecting other students, but it could also reflect a lack of resilience among a cohort that has faced unprecedented challenges.”

Students show ‘shocking growth in support for censorship’, ministers warn | Students | The Guardian

2022 hardest year ‘in living memory’ to enter UK medical school

Medical school heads say this is the hardest year “in living memory” for A-level students to get a place to study medicine, with several thousand high-achieving applicants left without a place.

Medicine has long been one of the most difficult subjects for A-level students to win a place in, but this year competition has been tougher than ever because many places are already allocated to students who were encouraged or paid to defer during the pandemic disruption last year, and thanks to a demographic surge in the number of 18-year-olds.

Ucas, the admissions service, says fewer than 16% of applications to study medicine and dentistry resulted in an offer this year – down from 20.4% in 2021.

Andrew Hargreaves, co-founder of Data HE, a consultancy advising universities on admissions, and a former director at Ucas, told the Guardian: “The largest group of unplaced applicants are in medicine. I’m hearing that we have several thousand medical applicants without any firm choice.”

2022 hardest year ‘in living memory’ to enter UK medical school | Medicine | The Guardian

GCSE removes Wilfred Owen and Larkin in diversity push

OCR, one of the three main exam boards, has removed works by John Keats, Thomas Hardy, Wilfred Owen and Larkin from its English literature syllabus from this September.

Some poems by Hardy and Keats will remain, but there will be no poetry by Larkin, Seamus Heaney or Owen, whose Anthem for Doomed Youth is on the present syllabus.

The “conflict” section of the anthology contains none of the best known First World War poets, such as Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke and Robert Graves. Instead, it has new works including We Lived Happily during the War by Ilya Kaminsky, Colonization in Reverse by Louise Bennett Coverly and Thirteen by Caleb Femi. OCR said 15 new poems were included, 30 retained and 15 removed. The syllabus will be used in exams in the summer of 2024.

GCSE removes Wilfred Owen and Larkin in diversity push | News | The Times

Should teachers with ‘long Covid’ get 12 months of paid sick leave?

The UK education secretary has asked officials to draw up new guidance on long Covid for schools as cases continue to rise among teachers and support staff, reports TES magazine.

Research suggests that more than a third of secondary schools are reporting workforce challenges due to long Covid.

Meanwhile teaching unions are calling for staff who have been medically diagnosed with long Covid to be given up to 12 months of full-paid sick leave.

More than one in 10 (14%) of schools said that staff absence due to long Covid had been more of an issue in the spring term than in the autumn

And the problem only seems to be growing. Office of National Statistics research published this June showed the highest incidence of self-reported long Covid of any period since records began in April 2021.

Long Covid: Nadhim Zahawi orders new rules for schools as teacher cases rise | Tes

Exams: Parents’ anger as mistakes in GCSEs and A-level papers ‘distress’ UAE pupils and jeopardize results and university offers

Mistakes and errors in exams including GCSE and A Level are playing havoc with children's lives says Ofqual. Students and parents in many instance face crisis of trust and university rejection.

A series of exam-board blunders in this year’s GCSE and A-Level exams papers have caused ‘distress’ to pupils who have already experienced severe educational disruption, according to UK examinations’ watchdog Ofqual [The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation].

The move for exam boards to provide advance information (AI) to students about the content of upcoming papers was introduced this academic year for the first time to help students focus their revision, as a mitigation to allow for the Covid-related disruption to their studies.

But the AI has spectacularly backfired in several instances, with both an AQA A-level Law and GCSE Physics paper including high-marks questions on topics that students were specifically told they did not have to revise.

Further question marks were raised yesterday, when AQA issued an update on A-level Chemistry Paper 2, revealing that its contents may have been leaked in advance, putting some students at an unfair advantage.

Such errors inflict unnecessary distress on students who are already grappling with the stress of their first public examinations after the previous two years’ exams were cancelled, say parents, echoing Ofqual’s damning verdict, all in a year that has also had its fair share of pandemic-related turmoil and anxiety for families.

Exams: Parents’ anger as mistakes in GCSEs and A-Level papers ‘distress’ UAE pupils and jeopardize results and university offers – Dubai schools, Abu Dhabi schools, Sharjah schools with fees, ratings and more –

Free Dubai school fees up for grabs! Details on GEMS’ new 100% scholarship programme for 2022/2023 revealed

Fee school fees are confirmed with 1 year GEMS Education scholarships issued to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee

Like the idea of getting a whole year of free UAE school fees? GEMS Education has launched a new scholarship programme in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, which will award 70 students from across all the GEMS school in the UAE one whole year of 100% free tuition fees.

With 43 GEMS schools operating in the UAE – the majority of which teach the British curriculum – the education provider has created this programme to honour the strong ties that it has with the United Kingdom, and to mark the milestone 70th anniversary of the accession of the British monarch in 1952.

First announced in conjunction with the Jubilee at the beginning of this month, SchoolsCompared can now exclusively announce the details on the scholarship criteria and how students can apply for it – and the deadline is very soon. Read on to find out more about the programme, and details of when and how to apply.

Act Now – How to get one year of free school fees in Dubai. GEMS Jubilee 100% scholarships details revealed (and the deadline is soon). Exclusive. – Dubai schools, Abu Dhabi schools, Sharjah schools with fees, ratings and more –

UAE School Admission Assessments: What to expect and how to prepare

No matter how much educators might try to reassure families about UAE school entry assessments, the myths and legends still abound.

But while the rumours might make school entry assessments seem like ruthless ordeals that no child should ever have to go through, the truth is far gentler and more prosaic, say teachers.

If your child is still wearing nappies, drinking from a bottle, or wants mummy or daddy to be in the classroom with them at their Early Years assessment, that’s probably fine, says Joanne Jewell, a parenting educator at, who worked as a school counsellor for 15 years:

As Covid restrictions loosen and children are once more going into schools for their entry assessments, we spoke to Hannah Howard, Head of Early Years at Horizon English School Dubai, David Wilcock, Head of Primary at The English College and Hannah Hepworth-Smith, EYFS Coordinator at Victory Heights Primary School, to find out what schools are looking for in school entry assessments, and how best to prepare your child.

Your Guide to UAE School Admission Assessments: What to expect and how you can prepare your child – Dubai schools, Abu Dhabi schools, Sharjah schools with fees, ratings and more –

Latest Dubai school fees discounts 2022/23: Parents can make major saving at these schools next year

Latest school fee news

Looking to enroll your child in a Dubai school for the upcoming academic school? These Dubai schools are offering some attractive school fees discounts for 2022/2023, with everything from generous founders offers to 100% scholarships on the menu.

Many of the discounts vary widely depending on which year you enter your child, and some discounts are valid only for a year, whereas others are valid for the entire time your child is at the school. We have excluded sibling discounts, but most schools will also offer a small percentage off fees for second, third, fourth children and onwards. The table below is a summary of the best top-line deals on offer for 2022/23, but please be sure to read on to find out the exact details and how they vary depending on your child’s year and other factors.

Here’s our run-down of the best Dubai school fees discounts for 2022/23 so far…

Latest Dubai school fees discounts 2022/23: Parents can now make major savings at these schools next year – Dubai schools, Abu Dhabi schools, Sharjah schools with fees, ratings and more –

Tabitha Barda’s The School Report © 2022. All rights reserved.

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About The Author
Tabitha Barda
Tabitha Barda is the Senior Editor of Oxbridge educated and an award winning journalist in the UAE for more than a decade, Tabitha is one of the region's shining lights in all that is education in the emirates. A mum herself, she is passionate about helping parents - and finding the stories in education that deserve telling. She is responsible for the busy 24x7 News Desk, our Advisory Boards and Specialist Panels - and's The School's Report - the global weekly round up of what matters in education for parents which is published every Friday, reviewing schools across the UAE - and features on issues that really matter. You can often find Tabitha on Parents United - our Facebook community board, discussing the latest schools and education issues with our parent community in the UAE - and beyond.

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