Dubai Schools to Skip Inspections Next Year: Impact on Fees, Ratings, and Quality Checks

Dubai Schools to Skip Inspections Next Year: Impact on Fees, Ratings, and Quality Checks

The temporary suspension of inspections aims to enhance stability, reduce administrative workload, and elevate the quality of data collection.

As per a directive from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), private schools in Dubai, except those entering their third year of operation, will not undergo full inspections for the 2024-25 academic year. This decision follows the release of the KHDA's latest inspection report. Below is an overview of how this directive impacts different stakeholders within the Dubai school community.

Will there be any quality checks during this period?

The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) will conduct targeted visits and ongoing monitoring, focusing on specific areas. Schools will receive notifications regarding these priorities for the upcoming academic year.

Moreover, schools are required to regularly update their Self-Evaluation Form and online school profile throughout the year.

Additionally, schools may apply for a full inspection by DSIB, subject to review and approval by KHDA. Requests must be submitted by July 5, 2024. Approval notifications will be sent during Term 2 of the 2024-25 academic year.

How does the school determine its fee structure?

Dubai schools' fee adjustments are linked to their latest inspection ratings, requiring KHDA approval. Ratings like 'outstanding', 'very good', 'good', 'acceptable', or 'weak' determine fee changes. The process for future fee adjustments remains uncertain.

In early April 2024, KHDA introduced an Education Cost Index (ECI) of 2.6%. This index allowed schools to increase tuition fees by up to 5.2% for the 2024-25 academic year.

Dubai schools typically undergo annual inspections to receive new ratings, except during the pandemic.

According to a Principal interviewed, one proposal is a uniform percentage increase in fees next year based on the Education Cost Index (ECI).

Inspections for the 2025-26 academic year have not been officially confirmed to resume. The pause in inspections specifically applies to the 2024-25 academic year.

Will schools benefit?

Pausing school inspections brings benefits: stability increases, administrative burden decreases, and data collection quality improves. Headteachers emphasize it balances stability with timely feedback. This decision also supports teaching and learning, enabling schools to implement development plans effectively.

What does it mean for parents?

School ratings help parents decide whether to transfer their children to different schools next year. Parents should read both the latest and past reports to understand the education quality at their children's schools. The education regulator reiterated its commitment to improving education quality in Dubai and aligning with the emirate's future goals.

What are the key outcomes of this year's inspection?

In the 2023-24 academic year, Dubai inspectors evaluated 209 private schools, including 10 new ones. The KHDA conducted 19,782 classroom visits and had 4,407 hours of discussions with students, parents, and school leaders.

Among the schools, 23 were rated 'Outstanding', 48 'Very Good', 85 'Good', and 51 'Acceptable'; two schools were rated 'Weak' with none rated 'Very Weak'. Ratings improved for 26 schools and declined for three.

In a sign of improving education quality, 81% of Dubai students now attend private schools rated 'Good' or higher, up from 77% last year. This benefits nearly 49,500 students.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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