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Top Schools Awards 2023 – 2024 is Go! Full information for the biggest education awards in the UAE – and this year there is a surprise!
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The Top Schools Awards 2023 – 2024, the biggest education awards in the UAE, has launched today.

Established in 2017 by Which Media and SchoolsCompared to recognise the most extraordinary achievements in education, this year’s awards have twists and surprises in abundance. Read more about the very first Top Schools Awards in 2017 here.

This year, the Top Schools Awards, as a whole, and within each award, plays special attention to the wonders and beauty of STEAM.

As the world moves increasingly to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, we look to schools that bring to life the bigger world around us in the Arts – and all those areas that make life beautiful, inspiring and creative. We celebrate those broader areas of life that make us all ask questions and feel – the humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design and new media, – and then feed and weave that humanity into the technical areas of our lives and child learning to make them better and meaningful.

James Mullan, Co-founder of The Top Schools Awards and Which Media explained:

“The best schools in the UAE excel in offering students a huge breadth of choice of subject pathways.  Every child has unique gifts – and the broader the range of options they have to choose from, the more able our schools are to meet the gifts, potential and interest of each child. The way subjects work with each other, as well as how they function independently, is so important.

The different subjects each of us study creates the building blocks of the world we live in. The Top Schools Awards celebrates powerfully that investment, by our most outstanding schools, in choice of subjects across the Arts and Sciences – in short, in STEAM.

As Steve Jobs said: “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.

GEMS_INARTICLE  

David Westley, Co-founder of The Top Schools Awards and Which Media continued:

“The world needs Scientists and Artists. It needs all of us with our many gifts. The best schools in the UAE recognise this – and the Top Schools Awards, in celebrating STEAM, recognise them.

STEM, without the bigger contribution of the Arts, would mean there would be only functional things.

We would have no Lamborghinis, only vans.

We would have no Concordes, only 727s .

No Burj Al Arabs, only Dalma Towers.

No poetry, only workshop manuals.

There would be no dancing fountains or fireworks – for what would be the the point?

Our world would be so much less.

It is the imagination and beauty that brings the best of Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering to life. If engineers solve the problems, it is the broader Arts that makes those solutions actually mean something. This year’s Top Schools Awards goes all out to recognise those schools that recognise the full power of education, in its every aspect to transform our world, and the lives of children.”

We built it. It’s real. The Top Schools Awards Jetpack.

To celebrate the wonders of STEAM, and help to inspire young children in particular, the icons of the Top Schools Awards, Space Boy and Space Girl, now have their very own Jet Pack (pictured). And it’s real and manufactured.

The specially crafted Jet Pack to celebrate STEAM at the 2023 Top Schools Awards - inspiring children

Tabitha Barda, Senior Editor of SchoolsCompared, explained:

“We wanted to celebrate the power of the imagination and the Arts. What better way than to make a working model of a jetpack to inspire the imagination of children and the theme of this year’s Awards. We hope that in sharing this real life creation we will inspire students to come up with their own imagined ways of how we one day will all be able to fly through the skies – without a jet plane in site!”

The jetpack will be touring across schools and will be on special display at this year’s free-to-attend Festival of Schools on Saturday 19th November  – more on how to book tickets for the Festival of Schools here.

First three Awards – enter now!

Top Schools Awards application form for Best School in the UAE for STEAM

The Top Schools Award for Best School in the UAE for STEAM 2023-24 –  schools download application here.

Parents and students – we want to hear from you with a simple question. “How has your school brought STEAM to life for you.” Please email us at [email protected].

 

Top Schools Awards 2023 Award for Best School in the UAE for Bursaries, Scholarships and Care for parents

The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding School in the UAE for Bursaries, Scholarships and Care for Parents 2023-24 –  schools download application here.

Parents and students – we want to hear from you if your school was there for you at a time in which you struggled financially and had no where left to turn. We know, for example, that many families were helped by their schools during Covid, and losing a job, or illness, can happen to any of us. If your school saved the day, please email us at [email protected] with your story.

Watch out for the release of remaining Awards categories every week between now and the 11th of December.

Top Schools Awards 2023. Best School in the UAE for Fine Art and Creative Studio Work. Award Entry.

To apply for the SchoolsCompared Top Schools Award for Best School in the UAE for Fine Art and Creative Studio work, click here.

Full list of Top Schools Awards 2023 – 2024

1. RECOGNISING OUR EXTRAORDINARY TEACHERS

  • Early Childhood Teacher of the Year 2023-24 in Proud Association with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
  • Primary School Teacher of the Year 2023-24
  • Secondary School Teacher of the Year 2023-24

2. RECOGNISING OUTSTANDING SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

  • Best Principal in the UAE 2023-24

3. THE EARLY YEARS AND PRIMARY

  • Best Early Childhood Centre in the UAE 2023-24 in Proud Association with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com
  • Best Primary School in the UAE 2023-24

4. POST 16 EDUCATION AND SIXTH FORM

  • Best School for Post-16 Education in the UAE 2023-24
  • Best School for Technical and Vocational Stream Education in the UAE 2023-24

5. NEW SCHOOLS

  • Best New School in the UAE 2017-23

6. THE CURRICULA

  • Best British Curriculum School in the UAE 2023-24
  • Best Indian Curriculum School in the UAE 2023-24
  • Best American Curriculum School in the UAE 2023-24
  • Best International Baccalaureate Curriculum School in the UAE 2023-24
  • Best Blended International Baccalaureate Curriculum School in the UAE 2023-24
  • Best Blended Arabic Curriculum School in the UAE 2023-24

7. THE WHOLE CHILD

8. ACHIEVING FOR ALL CHILDREN

  • Best Mainstream School for Children of Determination 2023-24
  • Best School for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 2023-24

9. THE SPECIAL AWARDS 2023-24

  • The Top Schools Award for Happiest School in the UAE 2023-24
  • The Top Schools Award for “School Most Loved by Parents” in proud association with EdstaticaTM  2023-24
  • The Top Schools Award for the Most Innovative School in the UAE 2023-24
  • The Top Schools Award for Best Architecture and Design to Inspire Children in a UAE School 2023-24
  • The Top Schools Award for the Most Outstanding School in the UAE for Bursaries, Scholarships and Care for Parents 2023-24
  • The Top Schools Award for Overall Best School in the UAE 2023-24
  • The Top Schools Award Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in the United Arab Emirates

and…

The Awards Date

The finalists, and winners, of the Awards will be announced in April 2023.

The History of The Top Schools Awards – a Celebration of the Best Schools in the UAE, year-by-year

2017-18

Official Top Schools Awards 2018 with list of winners

The Best 25 Schools, in rank order, in the UAE 2017-18

In the first year of the SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards we ranked the Top 25 of what we considered the most outstanding schools in the UAE together with those schools we believed should be highly commended. Hugely controversial, in later years the Awards were segmented into detailed categories, and we no longer ranked schools in this way. Nevertheless, it provides an interesting snapshot of a moment in time – and many of these schools have continued to feature in the Awards each year, often securing the highest possible Top Schools Award in their class.

First place: Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) – Arabian Ranches, Dubai – review here.

Second Place: Cranleigh Abu Dhabi – review review here.

Third Place: Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) – review here.

Fourth Place: Kings’ School Al Barsha, Dubai – review review here.

Fifth Place: Nord Anglia International School – Dubai, review here.

Sixth Place: British International School Abu Dhabi – review here.

Seventh Place: The British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi – review here.

Eight Place: Jebel Ali School, Dubai – review here.

Ninth Place: Dubai College – review here.

Tenth place: Raha International School, Abu Dhabi – review here.

11th: The American School of Dubai – review here.

12th: Jumeirah College, Dubai – review here.

13th: The Indian High School (Senior School), Dubai – review here.

14th: GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, Dubai – review here.

15th: Safa Community School, Dubai – review here

16th: Horizon English School, Dubai – review here.

17th: Al Bateen Academy, Abu Dhabi – review here.

18th: Brighton College, Abu Dhabi – review here.

19th: Victory Heights Primary School, Dubai – review here.

20th:  Repton School Dubai – review here.

21st: Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou, Dubai – review here.

22nd: Al Muna Primary School, Abu Dhabi – review here.

23rd: Foremarke School (now Repton School Al Barsha), Dubai – review here.

24th: American Community School Abu Dhabi – review here.

25th: Merryland International School, Abu Dhabi – review here.

Highly Commended:

Name of School Year Name of Award
Jumeirah English Speaking School – Arabia Ranches (JESS) 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Jumeirah English Speaking School – Arabia Ranches (JESS) 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best Blended International Baccalaureate School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Cranleigh Abi Dhabi 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best British Curriculum School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Cranleigh Abu Dhabi 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best School for the Performing Arts in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Dubai English Speaking College (DESC) 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Happiest School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Dubai English Speaking School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best Primary School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Dubai English Speaking School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Happiest School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Dubai English Speaking School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best School for Sport
Kings’ School Al Barsha 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best New School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
British School Al Khubairat 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best School for Technical and Vocational Education in the UAE 2017-18
Jebel Ali School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for School “Most Loved by Parents, Teachers and Students” in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Dubai College 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best Post-16 education in the UAE 2017-18
Dubai College 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best School for Sport 2017-18
Raha International School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best Mainstream School for Children of Determination 2017-18
Raha International School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best School for the Performing Arts in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
Raha International School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best International Baccalaureate School 2017-18
American School of Dubai 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best American Curriculum School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18
The Indian High School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best Indian Curriculum School in the United Arab Emirates
Safa Community School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best Architecture Environment, Design and Sustainability in a UAE School 2017-18

 

Horizon English School 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Value Add and leaving no child behind 2017-18
Lycée Francais International Georges Pompidou 2017-18 Top Schools Award for Best French Curriculum School in the United Arab Emirates 2017-18

Read Memory Lane: full details of the founding of the Schools Awards in 2016.

 

2019-20

Best Schools and Educationalists in the UAE 2019-20

The second Top Schools Awards played host to over 900 attendees at the Rajmahal Theatre in Dubai, in a glittering ceremony described by one commentator as “the most inspirational celebration of education in the UAE since its founding.”

  • Outstanding contribution to education in the UAE
    Winner: H.E. Dr Abdulla Al Karam
  • British curriculum school of the year
    Winner: British School Al Khubairat
    Finalists
    • Dubai English Speaking College (DESC)
    • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
    • Dubai British School Emirate Hills
    • Dubai English Speaking School (DESS)
    • Jumeirah College
  • International Baccalaureate school of the year
    Winner: Raha International School
    Finalists
    • Dubai International Academy – Emirates Hills
    • GEMS World Academy Dubai
    • Greenfield Community School
    • Jumeira Baccalaureate School
    • Uptown School
  • Best American curriculum school of the year
    Winner: American School of Dubai
    Finalists:
    • Clarion School Dubai
    • West Yas Academy Abu Dhabi
  • Indian curriculum school of the year
    Winner: GEMS Modern Academy
    Finalists:
    • Ambassador School and Kindergarten, Dubai
    • Delhi Private School
    • The Indian High School (Senior Campus)
    • The Millennium School
  • Arabic Blended curriculum school of the year
    Winner: Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys
    Finalists:
    • American School of Creative Science, Dubai
    • Next Generation School, Dubai
    • School of Research Science
    • Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls
  • IB Blended curriculum School of the Year
    Winner: Jumeirah English Speaking School Arabian Ranches
    Finalists:
    • American Community School of Abu Dhabi
    • Deira International School Dubai Festival City
    • GEMS Dubai American Academy
    • Nord Anglia International School
    • Repton School Dubai
  • Best Primary School
    Winner: Dubai English Speaking School
    Finalists:
    • GEMS Jumeirah Primary School
    • Horizon English School
    • Jumeirah English Speaking School – Jumeirah
    • Kings’ School Dubai
    • Victory Heights Primary School
  • Best Nursery
    Winner: Aga Khan Early Learning Centre
    Finalists:
    • Children’s Oasis
    • IDEA Early Learning Centre
    • Little Land Nursery
    • Yellow Brick Road Nursery
  • Best post-16 education
    Winner: British School Al Khubairat
    Finalists:
    • Dubai College
    • Dubai English Speaking College (DESC)
    • Jumeirah College
    • Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) Arabian Ranches
    • Repton Dubai
    • Sunmarke School
  • Best school for technical education
    Winner: Dubai English Speaking College
    Finalists:
    • British School Al Khabairat (BSAK)
    • GEMS Wellington Academy – Dubai Silicon Oasis
    • Greenfield Community School
    • Sunmarke School Dubai
  • Best new school
    Winner: Safa Community School
    Finalists:
    • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
    • Dubai Heights Academy
    • Kent College
    • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
    • Ranches Primary School
  • Best school for music
    Winner: Nord Anglia International School Dubai
    Finalists:
    • American School of Dubai
    • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
    • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
    • GEMS Music Hub at GEMS World Academy
  • Best school for theatre and the performing arts
    Winner: Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi
    Finalists:
    • American School of Dubai
    • American Community School, Abu Dhabi
    • Dubai English Speaking College (DESC)
    • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
    • Raha International School Abu Dhabi
  • Best school for art
    Winner: Brighton College Abu Dhabi
    Finalists:
    • British School Al Khabairat
    • Nord Anglia International School
    • Jumeira Baccalaureate School
    • Jumeirah College
    • Raha International School
    • Springdales Dubai
  • Best school for sport
    Winner: Dubai English Speaking College
    Finalists:
    • Dubai College
    • British School Al Khubairat
    • Jumeirah College (JC)
    • Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) – Arabian Ranches
  • Best school for child progress and value add
    Winner: Jumeirah College
    Finalists:
    • British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)
    • Dubai English Speaking College (DESC)
    • Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) – Arabian Ranches
    • Repton School Dubai
    • The English College
  • Award for outstanding use of technology
    JOINT Winners: Fairgreen School and Jumeirah English Speaking School – Arabian Ranches
    Finalists:
    • GEMS Dubai American Academy
    • Hartland
    • Repton School – Abu Dhabi
  • Best international initiative
    Winner: Riverston School Dubai
    Finalists:
    • Dubai English Speaking School (DESC) and Dubai English Speaking School (DESS)
    • Dubai International Academy – Emirates Hills
    • Fairgreen International School
    • Nibras International School Dubai
  • School principal of the year, 2019
    Winner: Sasha Crabb, Victory Heights
    Finalists:
    • Catherine Dando Dubai English Speaking School (DESS)
    • Simon O’ Connor Jumeirah College
    • Rachel Higgins GEMS Jumeirah Primary School
    • Mark Leppard MBE British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)
  • Best school in the UAE, 2019
    Winner: DESC and DESS
    Finalists:
    • American School of Dubai
    • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
    • British School Al Khubairat (BSAK)
    • Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi
    • GEMS Modern Academy
    • Jumeirah Primary School (JPS) and Jumeirah College (JC) [Joint nomination]
    • Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) Primary & Arabian Ranches [Joint nomination]
    • Raha International School

2021-22

The UAE’s third Top Schools Awards took place in the historic aftermath of Covid-19, and featured multiple new award categories. The Awards became a focal point to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of schools and educators during the Covid-19 years, a period which was transformation in UAE education in countless ways, including its firing up the engines of one of the biggest investments in  new technology across UAE schools in the sector’s history. Standout features of the third Awards were the inclusion of Awards for the emirate’s most inspirational and outstanding teachers.

Best Schools and Educationalists in the UAE 2021-22 

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best British Curriculum School in the UAE 2021

Winner:

Dubai College [DC]

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Early Childhood Teacher of the Year 2021-22 in Proud Association with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

Winner:

Clare Nagle, Home Grown Nursery

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Early Childhood Centre in the UAE 2021-22 in Proud Association with WhichSchoolAdvisor.com

Winner:

Little Land Nursery and Montessori Centre

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Primary School Teacher of the Year 2021-22

Winner:

Troy Ellison, Head of ICT and Computing, Regent International School Dubai.

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Primary School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Victory Heights Primary School

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Secondary School Teacher of the Year 2021-22

Winner:

Charlotte Abbott, English Teacher, Director of English, Dubai English Speaking College [ DESC].

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School for Post-16 Education in the UAE 2021-22

Winners – Joint Award:

Dubai English Speaking College [DESC]

The British School Al Khubairat

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School for Technical and Vocational Stream Education in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Mainstream School for Children of Determination 2021-22

Winners – Joint Award:

GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa

Raffles World Academy. An Innoventures Education School.

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Value Add and Leaving No Child Behind 2021-22

Winner:

Safa Community School

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Happiest School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Horizon English School

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Indian Curriculum School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

The Indian High School (Senior Campus)

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best American Curriculum School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

The American School of Dubai

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best International Baccalaureate Curriculum School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Taaleem’s Greenfield International School

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Blended Arabic Curriculum School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Blended International Baccalaureate Curriculum School in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Jumeirah English Speaking School [JESS] – Arabian Ranches

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School in the UAE for Theatre, Dance and the Performing Arts 2021-22

Winner:

Brighton College Abu Dhabi

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School in the UAE for Music 2021-22

Winner:

Nord Anglia International School Dubai

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School in the UAE for Fine Art and Creative Studio Work 2021-22

Winner:

The British School Al Khubairat

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best School for Sport in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

The American School of Dubai

  • The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Most Innovative School in the UAE 2021-22

Winners- Joint Award:

Fairgreen international School in Dubai

The Arbor School

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best New School in the UAE 2015-21

Winner:

Arcadia School (Opened 2016)

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best University in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Manipal Academy of Higher Education

The SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Architecture Environment, Design and Sustainability in a UAE School 2021-22

Winner:

The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai

The SchoolsCompared.com Special Award for the Most Outstanding Response to COVID-19 by a School in the UAE 2021-22

Winners – Joint Award:

Dubai Heights Academy

The English College Dubai

  • The SchoolsCompared.com Special Award for the “School Most Loved by Parents” in proud association with EdstaticaTM 2021

Winner:

Hartland International School

The SchoolsCompared.com Special Award for Best Principal in the UAE 2021-22

Winner:

Zara Harrington, Principal, Safa British School

  • The SchoolsCompared.com Special Award for Overall Best School in the UAE 2021-22.

Winner:

The American School of Dubai

The SchoolsCompared.com Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education in the UAE

Winner:

The Varkey Family [GEMS education]

Read the full story on the Top Schools Awards 2021-22 here.

Further Information

For schools seeking further information on The Top Schools Awards 2023 – 2024, please contact [email protected]

© SchoolsCompared.com. A WhichMedia Group publication. 2022. All rights reserved.

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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