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Robots, AI and the End of Teachers as We Know Them? School Leaders Talk Technology and Predict the Future of Schools in the UAE. Part 3.

Robots, AI and the End of Teachers as We Know Them? School Leaders Talk Technology and Predict the Future of Schools in the UAE. Part 3.

by Jon WestleyJune 3, 2020

Robots, AI and the End of Teachers as We Know Them? Repton, Bright Learners and GEMS Wellington on the Record.

Will the future of Schools mean increasing use of robots in the classroom? Here a young girl builds a robot as the world discusses children being taught by them.

In the third of our series of video interviews with school leaders on technology exclusively from SchoolsCompared.comTVTM , we ask what the school of the future will look like.

Today, our children are already building and coding robots in BTEC Engineering and with LEGO® MINDSTORMS® – is it too impossible to conceive of a day when our children will be taught by them?

Will there still be teachers and schools as we know them at all? In the next decade, will robots and VR have taken over many of the responsibilities of traditional teachers – or are schools going to remain much the same, even as the rest of society is increasingly transformed by AI and machines? Will schools get better? Or worse? And how quickly will our children begin to see major change?

In the following weeks we aim to build a definitive picture of the future of schools – from those who are running our schools. What is being done now? What are they planning? Has the rapid move to technology as a result of Covid 19 begun to focus minds and planning? Will exams still exist as we know them? Will more learning be completed away from school, at home, or in industry? Should AI, rather than teachers, be marking our children’s work, to free up their teaching time for more direct contact with our children? Too much screen time? Too little? Will schools in the future be better equipped to address the continuing disparity between the number of boys and girls studying subjects like engineering and the Sciences?

Let’s take another big issue today: class sizes. Class sizes matter to us as parents because they indicate just how much attention each child is likely to get from their teachers. In the future, technology, almost certainly, will become much more prevalent in the classroom with more on-line learning. Positively, this should mean much more individualised learning. If it works, any many are convinced it will, education should be much more able to accurately respond to child needs. And teachers should be freed up to have much more time to spend 1 on 1 with our children. Education will be fundamentally better, not because technology will replace teachers – but because technology will enable teachers to invest more time with each individual child. If Covid 19 and Distance Learning have taught us anything, it is that this sort of change could be coming quickly.

We will be releasing these guides in blocks of three video interviews. By the end of the Future School series we aim to have covered the broadest possible range of school types, from premium Tier Ones to value schools – and across different curricular or specialism. The aim will be to give parents the strongest possible idea of what will change, when, how – and what it will mean for their children.

SchoolsCompared.comTVTM  travels to

  • Repton School Dubai
  • Bright Learners School in Dubai
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail

to get the lowdown on what matters – and what is set to transform education in the not too distant years to come.


The Questions we Asked …

What questions should we be asking to unerstand the future of schools? Here we see a young boy asking the logical questions that adults too quickly miss.

We asked school leaders:

  • To explain their background and leadership experience
  • To describe the top 3 technological development coming down the track for schools in the UAE and their impact
  • What problems these technological changes will solve – and how?
  • To choose the single most important positive change coming to schools within the next 10 years and to explain to parents how it will transform the education of our children.

None of the school leaders we interviewed were made aware of how other school leaders answered these questions.


School Leaders Predict the Future of Schools in the UAE Part 3.

School leaders in Dubai go live on the record to discuss the future of schools in the face of technology

Interview 7. David Cook. Headmaster. Repton School Dubai.

David Cook has been the Headmaster of the KHDA Outstanding Repton School Dubai for three years. Prior to joining Repton, Cook was appointed as Headmaster of Merchant Taylors’ School, one of the leading schools in the North of England. He also served as Chairman of HMC North West, a professional association of heads of the world’s leading independent schools. He has trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and holds a BA (Hons) in History and an MA in Victorian Literature and History from Birkbeck College, University of London. Repton School Dubai was a finalist in the Top School Awards 2019-20 for both the Best IB Blended Curriculum School in the UAE and the Best School for Child Progress and Value Add.

Our independent review of Repton School in Dubai can be found here.

The official Repton School Dubai web site can be found here.

Interview 8. Adrianna Joy Chestnut. Principal. Bright Learners School.  

Founding Principal of Bright Learners School, Adrianna Joy Chestnut is an educationalist by training. Ms Chestnut brings to her role an extensive academic background with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching from Miami University, this followed immediately with her M.Ed. In curriculum and Instruction from Wright State. In the last three years Ms Chestnut has completed her doctorate in leadership at Trevecca Nazarene, this with a specific focus on the issues of leadership within the UAE. Ms Chestnut brings to Bright Learners School a Principal Licence from Ohio and a decade’s experience in the US and UAE, latterly working as part of the Abu Dhabi Schools Regulator (ADEK) team, supporting school Principals across Abu Dhabi in developing outstanding schools for their children.  

Our independent review of Bright Learners School in Dubai can be found here.

The official Bright Learners School web site can be found here.

Interview 9. Neil Matthews, Principal and Chief Executive Officer, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, Dubai.

Principal and CEO of GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, Neil Matthews, took the helm in May 2018. This was preceded by six years experience with GEMS Education including leadership roles at both GEMS Wellington and GEMS First Point.  Mr Matthews located to Dubai after two decade’s teaching and leadership experience in the UK. An educationalist by training, Mr Matthews graduated from Winchester and has professional development qualifications and expertise in school leadership. In the UK, Mr Matthews worked directly for the Essex LEA as a Leadership Mentor and Coach.

Our independent review of GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail can be found here.

The official GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail web site can be found here.

© 2020. All rights reserved.

To read Part 1 of our Guide to the Future of Schools click here.

To read Part 2 of our Guide to the Future of Schools click here.


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

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