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by Tabitha BardaNovember 16, 2021

The Schools Compared Weekly Briefing on the Hottest News in Education.

Every Thursday 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 Thursday. Only from


All UAE schools, universities, school buses ‘back to normal’ from January

Schools and universities will all return to full capacity learning in person from January 2022, but precautionary measures will still be applicable.

All schools and universities in the UAE will resume classes in person at full capacity, with precautionary measures in place, starting from the academic term beginning in January 2022, according to an official announcement.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) issued the updated protocols for the reopening of educational institutions on its social media channels on Tuesday 16 November 2021. School buses will also run at 100% with an emphasis on wearing face masks throughout the journey and good ventilation. Parents can also re-enter schools for events, but there are some extra precautions in place. Read this to find out more.



UAE Top School Awards finalists announced

Finalists in the Top Schools Awards 2021

Which Media has released the full list of finalists for The Top Schools Awards 2021. With 29 award categories, the Top Schools Awards 2021 represents the most comprehensive snapshot of the Education sector in the region ever undertaken.In total, 90 different schools, and 225 finalists are recognised across the 29 Awards, with awards ranging from Best Primary School and Best School for Music; Teaching awards for Best Primary and Secondary School Teacher; and Special Awards for Child Happiness, the School Most Loved by Parents and the Most Outstanding Contribution to Education in the UAE. Find out if your school, nursery, Principal or teacher is in the running to win an award…

UK Government halts plans to reduce BTEC fundingGEMS FirstPoint School Dubai launches BTEC esports and games design - a first in the UAE and GCC.

The UK government is delaying education reforms by a year after criticism over its plans to cut funding for BTECS. A limited number of new T-level technical qualifications – worth three A-levels – were introduced in 2020. But the government wants to roll them out further to cover more subjects and, in turn, replace most BTecs in England from 2023. It will now delay its plans to start removing funding for Btecs and other applied general qualifications to 2024. Read more.


Harrow brings in menopause influencer to educate boys about “the change”

Harrow School at Harrow-On-The-Hill in West London.

The UK’s Harrow School has enlisted a social media influencer to teach its boys about the menopause as part of an innovative project to demystify it for a new generation of young men. “They’ll have a mum, an aunt, a teacher going through the menopause right now — in the future it will be partners, friends and colleagues,” influencer Lesley Salem, founder of online community Over The Bloody Moon (OTBM), said.

Next term 160 sixth-formers at the £40,000 (Dh198,000) a year school will take part in the interactive course, to “remove the muddle from menopause”. Simon Sampson, head of personal, social, health and economic education (PHSE) at Harrow, said that teaching pupils about the menopause would support “Harrow boys to grow up as considerate young men, compassionate partners and more understanding colleagues.” Do you think your son or daughter should be learning more about the menopause? Read more, or share your thoughts on our online community Parents United UAE.

Teacher pay freezes to end at some UAE schools

Improved enrolments and an acknowledgement that schools need to retain staff are two key factors that have led several schools in the Emirates to announce plans to remove pay freezes introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jeff Evans, principal at Global English School in Al Ain and former director of Learning Key Education Consultancy in the UAE, told The National teachers’ salaries in the Emirates had now started to return to normal.

“It has only just started to stabilise. I would not say yet that it is recovering but we are on the road to a return to normality,” he said. Find out which other UAE schools are ending pay freezes.


Pupils will get advance warning of GCSE and A-Level exam content next year
Students at work

Teenagers in England will be given advance warning of some exam content next year because of disruption caused by Covid, the UK government says.

Under plans confirmed by the UK’s Department for Education (DfE), AS and A-level students will be given some indication of the content exams will focus on, to help with revision. There will be more changes to GCSEs – with formulae provided in maths exams, and equations in physics and combined science assessments. In English literature, history and geography, schools will be advised to focus on a narrower range of content. Advance warnings about content for both sets of exams will be issued by early February. Read more.


ADEK gives Abu Dhabi parents the chance to win a year’s school fees

Parents in Abu Dhabi have the chance to win tuition fees for the next academic year for their children by taking part in a 15-minute online survey. The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is encouraging parents to participate in the “Abu Dhabi Parents Survey” in order to help map the challenges parents face, identify opportunities, and tailor solutions that will impact their children’s future positively. There are also a whole host of other amazing prizes up for grabs – but the deadline of 22 November is fast approaching. Find out more and find out where to enter the survey here.


Festival of Schools goes to Arcadia this weekend

The Festival of Schools event series moves to Arcadia School in Jumeirah Village Triangle this Saturday 20th November, 9am – 1pm. From a sustainable treasure hunt to fab live performances, festive stalls, bouncy castles, and taster sessions in gymnastics, rock climbing, soccer skills and adventure activities, extra tickets have already been released due to high demand. Find out more and don’t miss booking your free ticket – but hurry, capacity is filling up fast!

Pressure on as CBSE Students see examinations double in number

With Indian CBSE board exams for minor subjects starting this week, UAE-based school principals shared some updates on the exams with Gulf News. This academic year sees two CBSE exams – Term 1 and Term 2 – instead of one final CBSE exam, which is usually the case for Class 10 and 12. For students who cannot sit the Term 1 exams – spread over the months of November and December – due to their participation in sports events (recognised by Sports Authority of India), results will be decided on the basis of the Term 2 exams only. This also applies to students who test positive for COVID-19 during the exams and therefore cannot take the Term 1 exams. Read more.

New book reveals Nazis based their elite schools on top British private schools

Nazi Germany’s elite schools, which were set up to train future leaders of the Third Reich, used British private schools such as Eton and Harrow as their models, a new book reveals. The historian Helen Roche has written the first comprehensive history of Nazi elite schools, known as Napolas. Drawing on research undertaken in 80 archives in six countries as well as testimonies from more than 100 former pupils, Roche discovered just how keen the Nazis were to learn from the “character-forming” example of the British system. Read more.


Exclusive deals on UAE Winter Camps announced
Schools Out! Top 25 Guide to What's On and What to Do in the Summer Holidays showing children looking up training at the Fly High Summer Camp in Dubai UAE.

Need a Winter Camp to stave off boredom during the upcoming three week break?  Which School Advisor has shared a round up of the best holiday camps that are fun, safe and entertaining. They’ve also partnered with a number of camp providers to secure Exclusive discounts. See more….


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.

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