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The 2015 WhichSchoolAdvisor.com School Survey

The 2015 WhichSchoolAdvisor.com School Survey

Your Chance to Make a Difference!

The 2015 WhichSchoolAdvisor.com School Survey

Have your say on education in the UAE. Gain access to great insight into UAE schools – and make your own views known.

All personal details will remain confidential and will not be used in any published results.


Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Note: If you have more than one child attending school in the UAE, and have different experiences for each child, you may complete a second (or third…) survey. All personal details will remain confidential and will not be used in any published results. If you have any comments on the survey, please email: editor@edu2021.com


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  1. Magdelena Johnson says
    May 27, 2016, 8:32 am

    My child’s experience at the American School of Dubai is, according to her, excellent. Fees are quite pricy, but the school is a non-profit organization so all the money we pay for tuition goes into finding qualified teachers and improving the school and it’s curriculum. The campus is beautiful. My daughter always comes home happy. I’ve yet to hear a word of complaint from her about the school. She has yet to see any bullying or any fights. She is confident that if she felt that she didn’t understand any of the material, she could speak to the teachers and they would figure out a way to help her. Very impressed with the American School of Dubai so far.

  2. Mohd says
    January 30, 2016, 2:03 pm

    All schools are expensive, terrible, full of unqualified teachers, and anyone who can’t pay 75K dhs to go to schools like Yasmina end up going to schools who are garbage and has students who are the lowest forms of people in society

    • February 2, 2016, 4:23 pm

      I think that is a little harsh Mohd. I think you will find many schools outside that price bracket that are doing good things. New schools tend to be the most expensive, but are also the most unproven…

  3. John carter says
    July 5, 2015, 12:59 pm

    its all one big show, give a good performance on stage, impress the parents and vip visitors. no one knows what is happening in class, how the good teachers struggle everyday, because they don’t get the support from the heads of department. The heads of department use the UK brand to hide behind, surround themselves with people they can control and play dirty politics while the children lose out. the children are definitely not priority. my child came home very unhappy and yes if you say something god help you and your child because they don’t like it. it is about them not the children. BCAD is a joke, to change it you need to start at management, get rid of them and start fresh, its time you stopped having teething problems. The new headmaster does have his hands full, but he is trying.

  4. john carter says
    July 5, 2015, 12:47 pm

    Lisa you are absolutely correct. I worked in Brighton College Abu Dhabi. It is how you have stated. One of the teachers told me this will NEVER be like Brighton college UK as it is Brighton College Abu Dhabi.

  5. anonymous says
    July 2, 2015, 1:19 am

    i partially agree with Judith when she talks about the teachers but still the children wont be getting proper British education if they learn to speak English in Indian or Filipino. no offence but the English teacher for my daughter made about 10 grammar mistakes when she met me during the teachers\parent discussion day. this is the teacher who is supposed to teach for 45 minutes a day and she made 10 mistakes in the first ten minutes!!!! how many mistakes will she make during class time??
    i think that it wont be fair to pay like 80 000 dirhams annually for proper English education!!! at least the average schools in Dubai should meet the expected level of teaching.

  6. Catherine says
    March 11, 2015, 2:54 pm

    Asking income is totally inappropriate and irrelevant

    • Professor says
      March 11, 2015, 6:48 pm

      Hi Catherine – actually it affects school choice, how people feel about schools, how critical they are, whether they feel they are getting value, what schools they choose, their attitudes towards quality… It affects a whole set of things you would not have thought were even related and is actually a key component in the survey.

      The survey findings are also totally anonymous.

  7. Alisa says
    March 10, 2015, 5:08 pm

    I don’t know how Kings is rated as an outstanding school, or even a good school. They haven’t reply or even sent a confirmation of a registration fee we sent them 3 months ago. And these registration fees are double as in other schools( 1000Dhs). That gives me a perception of a very bad communication from school to anyone, which a well reputable school wouldn’t let happen. Feeling robbed, honestly

  8. Lisa says
    February 28, 2015, 11:49 am

    I think that the UAE Schools are poor at teaching British and American students. The teachers aren’t good at disciplining students and increasing their knowledge. UAE does not meet UK standards at all. My child is unstable and she hasn’t learnt anything these past few months. As a mother, I am appalled. Unqualified teachers are being employed and they can’t even safeguard children. My child comes back home from school tired and upset. I have also talked to the teachers about my child’s unstability and they didn’t deal with the situation accurately, instead they lashed out at my child. I wouldn’t recommend anyone to come to a UAE school as they unqualified, cannot teach and are poor at safeguarding. I am willing to take my child back to the UK because of the UAE education system.

  9. M. Tawfik says
    February 15, 2015, 9:30 am

    That is a good attempt for getting parents feedback for the education quality level at UAE (Abu Dhabi).
    My children are studying at Choueifat school and I have major points which I highlighted before but with no results.
    I hope that this survey will make a difference

    • Judith says
      March 28, 2015, 7:56 pm

      If you live in Abu Dhabi, you have access to inspection reports on the ADEC website. I do not know why parents complain about schools yet, year after year, send their children to them when the evidence is available that all might not be well in the house. Would I pop along to the supermarket for a kilo of rotten potatoes? No. I inspect the goods and, if the item is valuable(as children are), I shop around. I suggest parents start doing the same. Download those reports.

  10. Sara says
    January 26, 2015, 6:19 pm

    To be honest, I don’t see the point of these surveys or the DSIB surveys because who actually listens?? My child goes to an ‘outstanding’ British school yet what gives them the outstanding? There are so many flaws in the education they provide and teaching in some departments is terrible. I pay astronomical fees but whose pocket does this line? My child quite often comes home and has to ‘self teach’. It is only called a private school because we pay. Compare this private school to that of the UK – this is nothing short of a glorified state school. So I ask again, what exactly are we paying for? The schooling industry here in the UAE is all about money. How much money can this business make. Yet UAE harp on about the importance of education! If education is seen as important out here then why is something not being done about reducing the fees and actually being stricter on the school to raise standards? Year after year, the fee structure increases – do you see this as fair? Do our salaries increase to compensate – NO! As I said, schooling here is not about the education but about making huge sums of money. KHDA should come along to the school unannounced. What is the point of announcing their arrival? The school prepares for KHDA, panics and preps the students and the teachers. It is a fake reading and poor judgement from the KHDA’s behalf. What more can I say! I know this message will fall on deaf ears because as usual, it’s all about the money!

    • Firas says
      January 28, 2015, 5:31 pm

      honestly I totally agree with you. You have got the core issue

    • Judith says
      March 28, 2015, 7:50 pm

      It would be interesting to know how much it would cost for a state educated child to be schooled in the UK if it was not free. In the UAE, free education is only available to nationals. You may not know that, merely arriving in the UK does not entitle the new arrival’s children free state education. When they go to a UK university, their fees are considerably higher than those of a UK citizen. Unfortunately, excellent teachers do not necessarily want to get on planes and teach abroad so you are taking a considerable risk when you live abroad and are at the mercy of teachers who think rote learning and filling out pages of Pupil Books are acceptable education. You sound like a parent who wants better but, I am afraid, there will be a lot of parents with children at your school who equate learning the textbook and getting high marks for memorized questions is the way things should be done.

  11. Firas says
    January 26, 2015, 4:46 pm

    The school fees are very expensive. Most of the schools are looking to increase year by year. However they keep using the same books every year without any update. Honestly it is such business.

  12. Mum says
    January 26, 2015, 12:40 pm

    From a UK perspective, I think that the schools here are on a par with the good state (free) schools in the UK but not close to the private sector. I wish there was more of an equivalent to a UK prep school and private secondary even if they charged more then the other schools here.

  13. Mohamed says
    January 26, 2015, 12:24 pm

    Dear team,
    Thank you for giving me an opportunity as one of UAEs father to talk about my children and others if I may.
    The education these days are great, however I have some additional requirements below form all schools especially PVT schools to follow it and there are very important points should give them the priority and I can say there are the main purpose of education:
    1. The proper Islamic education should be foremost and deeper
    2. Arabic language should be the main language for education and the others are an extra
    3. The proper history of Arab and Islam should be given primly and the others are an extra
    4. Arabic and Islamic culture are foremost with no other culture should be mixed with
    5. separation between male and female in everything such as class rooms and busses
    I think we should look at these points very carefully and seriously, because from my point of view there are the main purposes of UAE education as I mentioned before. Without these points, I think we did not give our children what they really deserve in education.

    • Judith says
      March 26, 2015, 2:17 pm

      The UAE, fortunately, is a liberal country. Whether children have religious education, and the extent of it, should be a matter for their parents. Not all are fundamentalists. To function in a global economy, the next generation will need to function in English. Deprive them of that and they will never catch up. If there were decent teachers of Arabic, perhaps it might lead to better outcomes but this is not the case. If you study Arabic history it will need to incorporate Mesopotamia and finish the day before yesterday. Are you really ready for that? Using unvarnished historical sources that can be balanced against each other for their veracity? As for cultural mixing, you clearly have the mentality that you and your children should grow up in a box, closed in and oblivious to the rest of the world. Living things that live in a box for a while shrivel and die. The greatest civilizations are those that explored and took on board new ideas, just as the wise rulers of the UAE are doing. They are preparing for the future by ‘spanning the boundary’ – looking to the future to see what they might need to keep this country great. For your sake, and that of your children, follow their example.

      • Noreen says
        March 28, 2015, 3:16 pm

        Agree with everything Jane said.

  14. dinesh says
    January 26, 2015, 11:45 am

    Good Initiative, action to be taken in getting more and more internationally recognized schools to open in UAE

  15. Hamac Rebello says
    January 26, 2015, 11:44 am

    Nice Work

  16. Anon says
    January 26, 2015, 11:43 am

    I completely agree with Eva, I know first hand how a company who own a school run …. it is all about the bottom line and it’s nothing to do with education, they don’t care if the school desperately needs resources, or even if fantastic teachers leave, they simply wish to make a profit and nothing else matters. They don’t understand it’s the teachers and other staff who make a school and then they whinge when they don’t achieve ‘Outstanding’, so they cant up the fees as much as they would like! Its shocking and shameful, I know the company I worked for do not wish to listen to any outside critique and are having the same problems year in year out with fantastic staff and pupils leaving in droves, they are all about the ‘money’.

  17. Catherine Harper says
    January 26, 2015, 11:00 am

    Great initiative

  18. Shalini joseph says
    January 26, 2015, 10:50 am

    Every year they increase school, fees – what I don’t understand is that my kids go to a British Curriculum school, then how come the school employs hires Indian/Phillipines school teachers who accent is not good and makes it difficult for the children to understand.

    • Judith says
      March 28, 2015, 7:40 pm

      The reason why your school hires teachers from India and the Philippines is due to the low salaries they will accept. Ma’am, if you want to hire well qualified UK-trained teachers, or similar teacher from any western country for that matter, your fees will be so high you will be running for the airport to educate your children in your home country. British curriculum? No. You are getting an education taught in English masquerading under the title ‘British’. The British National Curriculum does not require students below senior level to own their own textbooks because it does not want them to memorize the contents believing they are the sum total of knowledge required. In truth, only a small handful of schools in the UAE offer the fully-loaded British National curriculum and their fees are eye-watering. Why? They DO employ UK nationals – people who can teach without slavishly following the text. Alas, these people cost. The rest have to put up with teachers who cater to the whim of parents that every page of the text is followed. There is no creativity or much need for real thought or preparation. You cannot have both worlds.

  19. Nancy says
    January 26, 2015, 10:39 am

    Good attempt

  20. Lisa Ryan says
    January 26, 2015, 10:23 am

    Completed, thank you.

  21. Eva says
    January 14, 2015, 3:06 pm

    We all know the issues with schooling here, over-priced and under performing but how does this survey actual help?

    Each year we fill it in and each year nothing changes. There maybe more schools available but they do exactly the same as the existing ones. Schools here are a major business and education is not at the core, making money is, which would be okay if they actually provide something worth our money.The companies behind these school know we have few options here and that they have us by the …!!

    • Professor says
      January 14, 2015, 4:36 pm

      Hi Eva, it helps in a lot of ways – if a school is listening… You would be surprised at how many actually are, and how many schools contact us to discuss the results. How does this help you?

      – It identifies what you consider important when evaluating a school – which is then fed back to them. This helps guide where they invest going forward.
      – It helps specific schools benchmark themselves against their peers, so they know what they are ahead or behind on key things you evaluate. Last year we could not do too much of this because we had sufficient information for only a subset of schools. This year we’re hoping for more.
      – Finally, it helps raise your concerns up for public debate. Every year the results are widely discussed, in the media – on the radio, in newspapers, within schools…

      Nothing changes overnight, but as I am sure you agree, the first step is letting others know what is going well, and what needs to happen to improve the situation. Once there is agreement, change can happen.

  22. Bijal says
    January 10, 2015, 5:54 pm

    Good initiative


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