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SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards 2021. Results to be Announced Live Today.
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SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards 2021. Results to be Announced Live Today.

by Jon WestleyDecember 6, 2021

“I do know there are a lot of people who seem to be in my corner, and that’s, of course, wonderful.

I’m really more interested in the nomination than in the award, because I think the nomination just puts you within a group of outstanding actors.”

Morgan Freeman

Welcome to a day of celebration. Today, throughout the day, we shall announce the winners of each of the 29 Awards that make up the SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards 2021-22.

The Awards have taken over 12 months to produce involving directly 25 experts in education, in-house and consultants, working in excess of 30,000 hours between them, working through over a half a million words of data and information, the results of hundreds of school visits, data given to us by schools themselves, and independent data from parents and educationalists, to produce today’s results.

The results have drawn in information from EdstaticaTM the UAE’s most detailed statistical MIS for UAE schools, and worked through the results of countless hours of investigations, schools visits and reports by independent journalists on both SchoolsCompared.com and our sister site WhichSchoolsAdvisor.com. Our panel of independent judges then worked through summary documents to help us reach our decisions today.

The result we believe is the most considered and thoughtful education awards run anywhere in the world.

Of course, no results, in one key sense, can be an exact “science.” The needs of individual children are all, and are always, different. No school, or curriculum, will be perfect for every child. If there is a single fact within the Awards that is unarguable, it is that there is, and can never be, a perfect, single, school for every child.

GEMS_INARTICLE  

And, in fact, this year we have in some categories tried our best to look at schools in a broader sense and considered them on their own merits – and on their own terms. For example, it would be almost impossible for an Awards that based its views on the value of a school on its welcome to all children, to recognise a school that in any way was selective in its admissions. This is why ultimately, every single one of our finalists this year also deserves very significant credit. Through a slightly different lens, each of them might very well have been chosen as the winner in each category.

For parents seeking a snapshot of the very best schools in the UAE, and potentially a perfect school to educate their child, our finalists, listed below, will be a powerfully more insightful place to begin than honing directly in on our winner in each category.

It is also worth noting that, as we announce our results, there will be disappointment. We would expect nothing less. No school should doubt itself, or believe that it provides any less than the very best education available anywhere for its children. What would be the point, or justification, for a school existing, if it believed itself to be failing its children in some way (or at least doing so without some plan in place to put that right)? We absolutely do expect all schools to be able to justify, on their own terms, why they provide the best education for their children in one or more key respects – and to shout to the rooftops about exactly that.

Our experience is that pride and belief in a school comes built into the DNA of all outstanding schools.

What no Awards can do, whatever the temptation, or indeed pressure, is to have results in which everyone wins. Ultimately the results of the Awards are based on our best shared judgements and values as an organisation, and as parents, on the facts and experiences made available to us from schools, parents, teachers and educationalists. Not all have always agreed – but what they have shared is a fundamental recognition of the extraordinary achievement of all our final winners and finalists. In some exceptional circumstances, and despite trying our utmost to avoid it, we have reached an impasse of views that has resulted in two winners in a category. What you should take from this is that we have done this only where it would have been absolutely inequitable to do anything else based on the experiences and information before us.

The winners in each category of the awards set benchmarks for the area we are are judging – but some schools may not even be present in a category of the Awards because of the ways in which each Award category is defined. A good example of this is GEMS Modern Academy. For many, this is the very definition of an outstanding Indian curriculum school, but, in fact, we do not consider it in the Best Indian Curriculum school category at all because it competes very strongly, instead, in the Best Blended curriculum IB school category, this on the basis that it provides an IB pathway option for students.

Equally, many “new” schools are gradually working through their phased opening. It would be quite impossible for any of these schools to win in a Best curriculum category because they do not have the evidence required to demonstrate their capacity to deliver at all phases of a student’s education. This is not to say that the region’s newer schools are not extraordinary and in many cases better than more established schools – it is simply that technically they need more time to evidence this.

These are two examples amongst many that will be subject to discussion of whether we “could have done things differently.” Almost certainly we could in countless respects – but this will be subject to the extended debrief we do after each Awards where we seek to learn and improve.

Ultimately these results are our own, and we stand by them.

As Which Media, we have more than a decade’s established, long-standing experience in the UAE working independently on a single mission: to help parents find the best schools for their children. We recognise the responsibilities that come with our judgements. Founded in the UAE, where we remain headquartered today, Which Media is the only independent UAE global media company of scale focused only on education and only on the needs of parents. We were founded too not by faceless bureaucrats – but by parents – parents who shared and responded to the challenges they themselves faced choosing a school in the face of information overload, or in some cases “underload”, and partiality, by doing “something about it.” We were set up as a direct response to help parents work through this “muddle.”

Integrity and steadfastness of purpose matter to us.

Today this tradition continues – our journalists all have children, each at different ages. We bring their experience – and our global experience as a company operating across regions as diverse as Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, to our judgements of best practice here in the UAE – our home. We live and breathe education – and we too are always learning.

The Awards represent one of the many ways we seek to deliver on our mission to help parents. In no small part  the Awards exist to celebrate our most outstanding schools for children, and the educationalists that make this happen. For those schools that feel short-changed, and there will be many, all we can say with conviction is that tomorrow is another day – and, in Education more than anywhere, the best is always yet to come. No one should disagree that our schools and educators should be recognised for all they do for children far more than they are. If Covid 19 has taught us all anything – it is that teaching children is the single most important thing in the world – and an almost impossible task if you are not a professional. Many of us, as parents, look at the prospect of any deemed necessary return to Distance Learning with absolute dread and fear.

Over the last decade we have seen an education system in the UAE flourish beyond recognition – to the point, today, that we believe there is a strong case for arguing that the quality of education available to parents here, taken as a whole, is the equal or better of any education system, anywhere in the world.

So, to all our finalists, and our winners to be announced throughout the day, very sincere congratulations. If there is a single fact you can comfortably draw from the results today, it is that the feedback we have received on each of you from parents, children and educationalists is no less than outstanding – and more often than not, an absolute inspiration.

To parents we say, please use today to think about the hopefully many ways your school, whether it is featured in any of our categories today, or not, has made the difference for you and your child(ren). Think about the times you contacted them with an issue and they responded. Think about the times your school was there for you and for your child.

Ultimately it is in these spaces that you will find the “truth” of a school for you and its fit for your child. These impacts matter more than a thousand awards or reviews.

If equally you are looking for alternative schools to educate your children, do look for the finalist and winner certification on our reviews and on the sites of the schools themselves. As we work through our review updates over the year ahead, expect to see much of the information we are able to release feature there. Roll on 2022.

So to the Schools Compared.com Top Schools Awards announcements of our winners for 2021-22.

Fasten your seatbelts.

We will be announcing the winners in each category at the following times today:

10:00am

Top Schools Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Education in the UAE. Nomination Form.

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

10:10am
Top Schools Awards Early Childhood Teacher of the Year 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Katrina McLeod, IDEA ELC
  • Clare Nagle, Home Grown Nursery
  • Suzie Podesta, Dubai British Foundation

10:20 am

SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Award for Best Early Childhood Centre and Nursery School in the UAE 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • British Rose Nursery
  • Chubby Cheeks Nursery
  • Creative Nest Nursery
  • Future International Nursery
  • Jumeirah International Nurseries
  • Little Land Nursery and Montessori Centre
  • The Little Dreamers Nursery

10:30am

Best Primary School Teacher in the UAE 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Afreen Banu. GEMS Millennium School Sharjah.
  • Troy Ellison. Head of ICT and Computing. Regent International School Dubai.
  • Fatmaelzahraa Nabil Hassan Mahmoud. Grade 2 Homeroom Teacher. Ambassador International Academy.
  • Stefania D’Olimpio. FS1 Sunbird Class Teacher. Hartland International School.
  • Brendon Paul Owens. Teacher of Year 2 Children. Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park.
  • Kelly Pickett. Foundation Stage 1 Class Teacher. GEMS Wellington International School.
  • Simone Shaikh. Year 1 Teacher. GEMS Founders School Dubai.
  • Lorraine Williams. Year 6 Teacher and Science Coordinator. GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa.

10:40am

SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards 2021 Best Primary School in the UAE Entry Form

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

Finalists

  • GEMS Jumeirah Primary School
  • GEMS Royal Dubai School
  • Horizon English School
  • Dubai English Speaking School
  • Kings’ School Dubai
  • The Pearl Academy – An Aldar Academies School.
  • Victory Heights Primary School

10:50am

Best Secondary School Teacher in the UAE 2021 SchoolsCompared Top School Awards

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

Finalists

  • Charlotte Abbott. English Teacher. Director of English. Dubai English Speaking College [ DESC].
  • Stacey Coy. Teacher of History. Head of Humanities. South View School.
  • Simon Gill. Head of Discovery. Teacher of History. Al Mamoura Academy. An Aldar Academies School.
  • Jonathan Hughes. Teacher of Music. Head of Innovation and Digital Learning. Dwight School Dubai.
  • Elfyn Jones. Teacher. Secondary Art and Design. Innovation Lead. Nord Anglia International School Dubai.
  • Asiya Kariem. Teacher. Literacy Specialist. Safa British School – Jumeirah.
  • Tracey MacLean. Leader of Food Studies, Food Preparation and Nutrition. Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park.
  • Ademola Okeowo. Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Emirates Hills.
  • James Peacock. Hartland International School.
  • Helen Pringle. Teacher of Music. Head of Arts. Fairgreen International School.

11:00am

Best School for Post-16 Education in the UAE Top Schools Awards Finalist

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

Finalists

  • Dubai College [DC]
  • Dubai English Speaking College [DESC]
  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa
  • GEMS Modern Academy
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • Repton School Dubai
  • Swiss International Scientific School Dubai
  • The American School of Dubai
  • The British School Al Khubairat

11:10am

Best School in the UAE for BTEC, the IB Career-related Programme or other vocational education options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists:

  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Sunmarke School
  • Taaleem’s Greenfield International School
  • The British School Al Khubairat

11:20am

Best mainstream school for Children of determination 2021. Application Form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists:

  • Dubai Heights Academy
  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa
  • GEMS Wellington International School
  • Raffles World Academy. An Innoventures Education School.
  • Smart Vision School

11:30am

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

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

Finalists:

  • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai English Speaking College [DESC]
  • GEMS Wellington International School
  • Jumeirah English Speaking School [JESS] – Arabian Ranches
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • Raffles International School. An Innoventures Education School.
  • Repton School Dubai
  • Safa Community School
  • Sheikh Zayed Private School for Boys
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park
  • The British School Al Khubairat
  • The English College Dubai

11:40am

SchoolsCompared Top Schools Award for Happiest School in the UAE 2021 Application Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • The Arbor School
  • Arcadia School
  • Brighton College Dubai
  • Dove Green Private School
  • Dubai English Speaking School [DESS]
  • Fairgreen International School
  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa
  • GEMS Modern Academy
  • Horizon English School
  • Kent College Dubai
  • Safa British School
  • Safa Community School
  • Southview School
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British Foundation – Jumeirah Islands
  • Taaleem’s Uptown International School
  • The English College Dubai
  • Victory Heights Primary School
  • West Yas Academy – An Aldar Academies School

11:50am

Top Schools Awards 2021 Best Indian Curriculum School in the UAE Application and Entry Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Ambassador School Dubai
  • Delhi Private School Jebel Ali
  • GEMS The Millennium School
  • The Indian High School (Senior Campus)

12:00am

Top Schools Awards 2021 Award for The Best American School in he UAE Application and entry form

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

Finalists

  • Clarion School Dubai
  • Dunecrest American School
  • GEMS Dubai American Academy
  • The American School of Dubai
  • West Yas Academy Abu Dhabi – An Aldar Academies School

12:10pm

Best International Baccalaureate School in the UAE Top Schools Award Best IB School Entry Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • GEMS International School
  • GEMS World Academy Dubai
  • Dubai International Academy – Emirates Hills. An Innoventures Education School.
  • Swiss International Scientific School Dubai
  • Taaleem’s Greenfield International School
  • Taaleem’s Jumeira Baccalaureate School
  • Taaleem’s Raha International School
  • Taaleem’s Uptown International School

12:20pm

Top Schools Awards 2021 Best Arabic School Blended Curriculum Application Form

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

Finalists

  • American School of Creative Science
  • Next Generation School
  • School of Research Science
  • Sheikh Zayed Private School for Boys
  • Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Girls

12:30pm

Best Blended International Baccalaureate Curriculum School in the UAE 2021 Top Schools Awards Entry Form

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

Finalists

  • Al Mamoura Academy Abu Dhabi – An Aldar Academies School
  • American Community School of Abu Dhabi
  • Deira International School – Dubai Festival City
  • GEMS Dubai American Academy
  • GEMS Modern Academy
  • Jumeirah English Speaking School [JESS] – Arabian Ranches
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • Repton School Dubai

12:30pm

Top Schools Awards 2021 Best British Curriculum School in the UAE 2021 Entry Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Al Yasmina Academy – An Aldar Academies School
  • Brighton College Al Ain
  • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
  • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai College [DC]
  • Dubai English Speaking College [DESC]
  • Dubai English Speaking School [DESS]
  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa
  • GEMS Jumeirah College
  • GEMS Jumeirah Primary School
  • Sharjah English School
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Emirates Hills
  • The British School Al Khubairat

12:40pm

Best School in the UAE for Dance, Performing Arts and Theatre 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • American Community School of Abu Dhabi
  • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
  • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Kent College Dubai
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park
  • The American School of Dubai
  • The British School Al Khubairat

12:50pm

Top Schools Award for Best School in the UAE for Music in 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Brighton College Abu Dhabi
  • Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
  • Dubai College [DC]
  • Dwight School Dubai
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • The American School of Dubai
  • The British School Al Khubairat

1:00pm

Entry for for the SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools Awards 2021 Award for Best School in the UAE for Fine Art and Creative Studio Work

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

Finalists

  • GEMS Wellington International School
  • GEMS Modern Academy
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park
  • Taaleem’s Jumeira Baccalaureate School
  • The British School Al Khubairat

1:10pm

Finalists for the Best School for Sport in the UAE at The Top Schools Awards 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Dubai English Speaking School [DESS] and Dubai English Speaking College [DESC]
  • Dubai College [DC]
  • GEMS World Academy Dubai
  • GEMS Jumeirah College
  • Jumeirah English Speaking School [JESS] – Arabian Ranches
  • GEMS Jumeirah Primary School
  • Kent College Dubai
  • The American School of Dubai
  • The British School Al Khubairat
  • Victory Heights Primary School

1:20pm

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • Brighton College Al Ain
  • Dwight School Dubai
  • Fairgreen International School
  • GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa
  • GEMS Millennium School Sharjah
  • GEMS Modern Academy
  • GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail
  • Jumeirah English Speaking School [JESS]- Arabian Ranches
  • The Arbor School Dubai
  • The British School Al Khubairat

1:30pm

Best New School in Dubai, Abu Dhabi Finalists

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

Finalists

  • Arcadia School (Opened 2016)
  • Brighton College Dubai (Opened 2018)
  • Dubai Heights Academy (Opened 2017)
  • Dwight School Dubai (Opened 2018)
  • Fairgreen International School (Opened 2018)
  • GEMS Founders School Dubai (Opened 2016)
  • Hartland International School (Opened 2015)
  • Kent College Dubai (Opened 2016)
  • Sheikh Zayed Private Academy for Boys (Opened 2015)
  • South View School (Opened 2018)
  • The Arbor School (Opened 2018)

1:40pm

Best University in the UAE 2021 Top Schools Awards 2021 Entry Form

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

Finalists

  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science – Dubai Campus
  • Herriot-Watt University
  • Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai
  • Middlesex University

1:50pm

Top Schools Awards for Architecture 2021. Sustainability, Design, Environment. .

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

Finalists

  • Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi
  • Creative Nest Nursery
  • Dubai College [DC] – The SPACE (Sports & Performing Arts Centre of Excellence)
  • Dubai English Speaking College [DESC] – Sixth Form
  • Dubai Heights Academy
  • GEMS Dubai American Academy
  • Kent College Dubai
  • Nord Anglia International School Dubai
  • Safa British School
  • The English College Dubai
  • The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai

2:00pm

Top Schools Awards 2021 Most Outstanding Response to Covid-19 in a UAE School Entry Form

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Finalists

  • The Arbor School
  • Deira International School – Dubai Festival City
  • Dubai Heights Academy
  • GEMS Jumeirah Primary School
  • GEMS Modern Academy
  • Hartland International School
  • Raffles World Academy. An Innoventures Education School.
  • Repton School Dubai
  • Taaleem’s Dubai British School – Jumeirah Park
  • The British School Al Khubairat
  • The English College Dubai

2:10pm

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

Finalists

  • Hartland International School
  • Horizon English School
  • Jumeirah English Speaking School [JESS] – Jumeirah
  • Safa British School
  • Safa Community School
  • The English College Dubai
  • Victory Heights Primary School

2:20pm

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

Finalists

  • Asha Alexander. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS Legacy School.
  • Iain Colledge. Executive Principal. Taaleem’s Raha International School.
  • John Conway. Executive Superintendent. The Sheikh Zayed Private Academies.
  • Simon Crane. Head Master. Brighton College Dubai.
  • Brett Girven. Principal. The Arbor School.
  • Zara Harrington. Principal. Safa British School.
  • Rachel Higgins. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS Jumeirah Primary School.
  • Nargish Khambatta. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS Modern Dubai.
  • Michael Lambert. Headmaster and Teacher of Classics. Dubai College.
  • Mark Leppard MBE. Headmaster. The British School Al Khubairat.
  • Simon O’Connor. Director. Deira International School – Dubai Festival City.
  • Matthew Tompkins. Principal and Chief Executive Officer. GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa.
  • Chris Vizzard. Headteacher. Dubai English Speaking College [DESC].

 

2:30pm

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

SchoolsCompared.com Top Schools awards 2021 Award for overall Best School in the UAE

Further Information.

Top School Awards Best Nursery Preschool

Read about the Top Schools Awards 2017-18 here.

Newspaper excerpt from the Gulf News highlighting the winner of the Best Principal in the UAE at the Top School Awards in Dubai by SchoolsCompared.com Photograph of Sasha Crabb at the SchoolsCompared Top School Awards held at the Raj Mahal Theatre in Dubai accepting her Award for the 2019 and 20 Best Principal in the UAE.

Read about the Top Schools Awards 2019-20 here.

Are you looking for a place for your child at any one of these outstanding, award-winning schools, and want help from our school consultants? If so, click on the link below, and we will forward your request for information to the school or schools of the same type that we are confident have availability. This is a free service for parents from SchoolsCompared.com in partnership with our sister site WhichSchoolAdvisor.

Request School Information

© SchoolsCompared.com. 2021. 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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