Back to school for inspections

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Back to school for inspections

DUBAI - Schools in Dubai will face another round of inspections by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) as the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) unveiled a new self-evaluation guide and inspection handbook for private schools.


Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Mon 27 Aug 2012, 12:58 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:54 AM

The 86-page handbook provides a detailed overview of the inspection process and how schools can benefit from the review and feedback provided by experienced school inspectors. Inspectors from the bureau will classify schools into outstanding, good, acceptable and unsatisfactory, based on their findings.

This year’s inspection will place a stronger emphasis on support provided for special education needs students and progress made by them in all subjects.

“There will be greater attention to the identification of and provision for students with special educational needs. A minority of schools provide good provision for these students and ensure that their academic progress is good. Many schools do not yet have the staff expertise or systems to respond sufficiently to these students,” says Jameela Al Muhairi, Chief of DSIB.

Inspectors will also closely examine the performance of Emirati students in comparison with their classmates as they will collect feedback on the progress by Emirati students in private schools. Most reports will have a separate section for comments on attainment by Emirati students.

According to the handbook, “the government of Dubai is keen to maintain a strong focus on the outcomes of all groups of students. It is especially interested in how Emirati students perform. Accordingly, all inspectors will continue to have a focus on Emirati students as a distinct group.”

Compiled in consultation with principals, teachers and parents in Dubai, the handbook will give very clear and proper information about how inspections are conducted and will set out the criteria schools will use when evaluating their own work.

It is also now mandatory for schools to complete a self-evaluation document where the school reviews itself.

According to the self-evaluation guide, “it is essential for schools to have a clear idea of their strengths and weaknesses, in order to identify priorities and agree actions. Evaluation, review and monitoring provide vital information for setting priorities and planning further improvement.”

Together with each school’s previous inspection reports, inspectors will use this self-evaluation form as the starting point for conducting inspections.

The DSIB inspected 138 private schools in the last academic year, visiting 13,789 classes and speaking to around 1,850 students and school staff. More than 50,000 parents, teachers and students completed the DSIB questionnaires, which inspectors used to guide their judgement in specific aspects of school quality.

The annual school inspections are structured to identify a school’s strengths and weaknesses and help provide feedback to school staff and administration.

Key questions

1. How good are the students’ attainment and progress?

2. How good is the students’ personal and social development?

3. How good are the teaching, learning and assessment?

4. How well does the curriculum meet the educational needs of all students?

5. How well does the school protect and support students?

6. How good are the leadership and management of the school?

7. How well does the school perform overall?

Key subjects to judge attainment and progress

lslamic Education (for Muslim students)

Arabic as a first language and Arabic as an additional language


The language used for teaching and learning, where it is not Arabic or English



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