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Thinking About Changing Your Child’s School?

Moving School


You are not alone according the WSA School survey. A very high 53% of parents have at some time thought about changing the school of their child.

The WSA School Survey is still open. Don’t miss your chance to have your say here…

The percentage changes during the course of the child’s progress through schooling. It starts at 54% at KG, rises to 58% at Primary, begins to fall at Middle School (55%), and drops sharply at secondary level (41%).

Without international benchmarks it is impossible to say how this compares against other markets, but we believe it would be high for the following reasons.

Firstly, this is an open private education market where a parent CAN change the schooling of their child in a way that would not be possible in other environments where an education authority would need to be convinced as to the reason why. Secondly, the UAE is in a period of flux. There are a huge number of new schools opening, and therefore new possibilities for parents. Finally, there are a lot of unknowns in the UAE education sector, and quality is not always a known entity prior to actually experiencing a school first hand.

This is particularly so at KG level, which are yet to be regulated and subject to the reports that primary and secondary schools are.

Which School Advisor has been set up to begin providing some clarity here, but the volumes of new schools, especially at KG level, make this a very difficult task indeed.


One very interesting statistic for any school with retention issues is that there is a very high correlation between academic performance and thinking about alternatives.

Where parents are satisfied with academic performance very few parents think about changing schools (22%). Where parents are dissatisfied with the academic performance they almost universally have thought about other schools (91%)…


MovEmNote, there is a marginal difference across the emirates. Abu Dhabi is the most stable emirate with the number of parents who have thought about changing their child’s school at 50%. It’s highest in Dubai at 54%, and at 54% in Sharjah.

Note: The Which School Advisor Survey is open. We will not close it but continue to collect data that will allow us to release more data based stories with more detailed findings. The WSA Survey has had just under 600 respondents so far, which provides a solid basis for our initial findings. If you are not one of the 600, you can take the survey here. With more responses we will continue to deliver further insights. Keep an eye out also for the survey pages as we will provide updates when relevant to do so.


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