Dubai schools claim up to 90% reenrolments for next academic year

School heads say several families expressed interest in continuing with their child’s existing school after KHDA’s inspection report


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Mon 10 Apr 2023, 7:57 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Apr 2023, 9:56 PM

Some schools in Dubai claim up to 90 per cent reenrolments for the next school year as several families expressed interest in continuing with their child’s existing school.

Institutions also indicate an optimistic uptake in new registrations for the next academic year as the application process of new admissions is under way.

Lisa Johnson, principal, American Academy for Girls said: “At this time, we have 92 per cent of our students listed for re-registration, but this is still ongoing. Only two families have indicated they are not returning for the next academic year. Both the families are transferring their kids to other Taaleem schools closer to home.”

Echoing similar thoughts, Sarah Hollingworth, vice-principal at GEMS Wellington Academy - Silicon Oasis, opined: “Reenrolments for the next academic year are very strong with up to 90 per cent of our families continuing at WSO for the next academic year.”

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming new joiners to WSO for the academic year 2023-24. We have had a positive surge in registration with nearly 350 children already registered to join our community in September,” she added.

New joiners in Term 3

Some schools have even reported new joiners in Term 3 that began in international curricula schools after the spring break on Monday.

Rob Commons, principal at Uptown International School Dubai, said: “We’ve seen a significant increase at the start of this term, with 30 new students starting today, and more due to start in the next few days. This is a big increase from last year (only eight new starters in Term 3), and reflects our growing reputation in the community, as evidenced by our very successful Knowledge and Human Resources Development Authority (KHDA) inspection a few weeks ago.”

Principals of schools that have typically recorded consistent increase in their registrations in the new school year are urging parents to decide early, as institutions that are rated well in the KHDA inspection may soon have their empty spots taken.


Commons added: “There’s been a big surge in numbers for next academic year, with over 60 families already enrolling their children (a six-fold increase since last year). It’s most common for our school to receive a large number of new student applications in July and August, and whilst we still expect this to be the case, our places may well be limited by that stage. This is because we expect fewer ‘leavers’ than in the past two years now because Covid is no longer a factor, and our new enrolment is growing much earlier than in previous years. I would urge any parent looking for a school place for next academic year to make an early decision to avoid disappointment.”

A total of 25 schools showed improved performance from previous inspection in 2019 in the KHDA inspection that was released a week ago.

Leigh Girven, principal, Greenfield International School, Dubai said: “We have had a very positive start to the new term with eight new families joining our GIS community – six of whom have arrived from other schools internationally. We are expecting to start the 2023/24 academic school year with approximately 1,550 students, which is an increase of 200 students from this academic year.”

She added: “We attribute this to our growing reputation following the recent KHDA inspection rating increase to ‘Very Good’, excellent academic outcomes including IB Diploma results well above the world average and the introduction of a ‘Raising Three’s’ class to our Early Years programme.”

Tara Foster, primary headteacher at GEMS Metropole School - Motor City said: “We have a very strong pipeline for new joiners, with 380 new pupils already enrolled for next academic year. Our recently published Good KHDA rating and the many improvements have led to the success of our school, and our admissions team is extremely busy. Our parents have been very good ambassadors for our school, with many prospective parents walking in and asking for a place due to their friends' recommendations.”

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