Schools in Dubai are gearing up for the Knowledge and Human Development Authority’s (KHDA) school inspections this year.
In the new academic year (or new term) the emirate’s education regulator will be emphasising student well-being as a key focus, and will inspect how school policies have been adapted to include wellness strategies.
In a recent letter sent out to parents, the KHDA stated: “Our school inspectors are ready to start their quality assurance visits of schools this year. All schools that have passed their second year of operation will be inspected starting from September. Newer schools will receive support visits.”
The letter further says, “Building on our children’s mental, emotional, and physical health—as well as their academic ability—is so important to helping them flourish later in life. In the new academic year, inspectors will be focusing on how well schools are teaching well-being, and how well they are incorporating a well-being approach into their policies and processes. They’ll also be looking at how well schools are providing an inclusive, supportive, and meaningful learning experience for children of all abilities.
This year we’re publishing school reports designed specifically for parents. The report will give you an objective understanding of the quality of teaching and learning offered at every private school in Dubai. Keep an eye out for these at the start of the third term.”
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Meanwhile, schools in Dubai are preparing themselves to be “inspection-ready”.
Schools in Dubai are awarded ratings, with the highest score being “outstanding”, to help parents make the best education choice for their wards.
Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO-Principal, Credence High School opines: “We are looking forward to the upcoming school inspections each year as it gives us the opportunity to share our school’s strengths in all parameters.”
She adds, “The school inspection provides an unbiased, independent, professional assessment of the quality of teaching and learning, including the standards achieved by the learners. The feedback about the inspection helps the policy and decision makers with accurate information about the current state of education, and the recommendations hugely benefit us to review the school improvement plan year on year.”
Abigail Fishbourne, Director of Learning, International Schools Partnership – Middle East opines, “Our aim is to deliver ‘amazing learning’ to every child, in every lesson, every day and our schools are welcoming of the upcoming KHDA inspections. We recognize the KHDA inspections as an important part of our school improvement strategy alongside our annual internal inspections, bi-yearly school self-evaluations, regular external inspections from NEASC and BSO, along with the weekly visits from our regional support team.”
Head of institutions aver the KHDA inspection is not only an opportunity to work in partnership with the education regulator of Dubai to identify strengths, and find development areas for schools, but they also provide validation of the improvement plans of schools allowing them to grow.
Mike Stewart, Primary Principal, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis said, “At WSO, we aim to be ‘inspection ready’ every day of the academic year and as such our ‘outstanding’ practice has been fully embedded and consistently applied. However, change development is an ongoing feature of our school. The school development plan provides the foundation for change and drives the processes that enhance and deepen our strategic systems. Our school leaders are all responsible for enacting, reviewing, and assessing the school’s measurable targets. However, success in an inspection is a collective effort and every single member of staff will play an intrinsic part in preparing the school.
He adds, “Inspections in Dubai are annual and a wonderful testament to the progress, development, and success that a school can celebrate with its community. We welcome the inspection process as a partnership – one that will help review and refine its systems– to ultimately provide our pupils and parents with a world-class educational experience.”