Want the best possible school for your child in Dubai? We've compiled a guide on the factors expat parents should consider
18 August 2022| Last updated on 19 August 2022
A guide to finding the best fit school in Dubai for your child.
According to the World Population Review, 85% of Dubai’s population are expats.
As a result, there are now over 200 private schools in the Emirate to cater for the demand in international education. If you are planning to move to Dubai or are currently living in the city as an expat, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority of Dubai (KHDA) is a great starting point on learning more about a school’s achievements, expected fees, rating, and reviews.
For many expat parents, finding the best school for your children is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when moving to a new country like the UAE.
What makes a school the best for expats will depend on many factors and each family’s individual needs. Below is a list of key factors expat parents should consider when finding the best school in Dubai for their child’s education.
1.) Types of schools available in Dubai for expats
Due to the number of private schools available in Dubai, there is plenty of choice in the types of school for your child.
Some parents opt for a school that follows the curriculum of their homeland, with British, American, Indian and Swiss schools just some of the specialist schools available in Dubai.
As Dubai is a very multi-cultural destination, many parents opt for an international school where their child can not only learn other languages but become more culturally aware of other nationalities.
2.) Curriculum offered
The most popular curriculum for expats is the International Baccalaureate (IB).
The Swiss International Scientific School Dubai (SISD) offers an International Baccalaureate programme with the option to do a second language in French or German, and Arabic is also taught as part of the curriculum. The school's core values are based on B.E.S.T: Bilingualism, Excellence, Sustainability and Togetherness.
3.) Boarding school options
You may want to consider boarding options your child, whether it’s weekly or for the full term.
The Swiss International Scientific School Dubai also offers the option of flexi-boarding where your child can be accommodated if you are travelling, there is a family emergency, or if you want your child to benefit from a structured setting during exam times.
4.) Continuous education from pre-school to high school
If you have children of different ages, you may want to go for a school that offers continuous education from Pre-KG through to Grade 12. Not all schools in Dubai offer this as some end at elementary or middle school, leaving parents to find a new school which can often be difficult as placements can be
By choosing a school that has continuous grades from pre-school to graduation, this provides a clear structure for your child’s development.
5.) School facilities
Many schools in Dubai offer state-of-the-art facilities, but it’s important that you check that the school has the amenities your child needs to fulfil their interests, particularly for after-school activities. If your child is a water babe, does it have a swimming pool? If they are a budding ballerina, does it have a dance studio?
There are loads of Dubai schools that offer state-of-the-art facilities, but it's important that you check that the school has the amenities your child needs to fulfil their interests, including after-school activities.
6.) Student welfare and support at school
If you have only recently moved to Dubai, getting your child settled into the right school is important. When considering the best school for your child it’s important to understand what pastoral care there will be.
Do they provide counselling? Do they have an online security policy? What are the medical facilities of the school?
7.) School location
As Dubai continues to develop, traffic is becoming more congested. You may have narrowed down the list in choosing the best school, but if your child isn’t boarding, is the location convenient for easy drop offs and pick-ups?
If you can, it’s worth arranging a tour of the school so that you can not only see the facilities but also the location and travel times from your home.
8.) Check the school's admissions process
When speaking to the schools, it’s worth checking the admissions process. What is the deadline for applying? Is there a waiting list for admission? The earlier you can start the selection process, the more chance you will have of securing the school of your choice.
9.) Read parent testimonials about the school
With a thriving expat community, there is plenty of information available when it comes to finding the best school for your child’s development. We would recommend speaking to other parents and reviewing parent testimonials to ensure the school will meet your requirements. If the school has a parent community, this may be a way of meeting new people if you have recently moved to Dubai.
As an expat parent, choosing the best school for your child in Dubai can be overwhelming, but the Swiss International Scientific School's admissions team are available to answer any concerns you may have so please do not hesitate to contact them if you have any questions regarding their school, the curriculum, boarding options, or facilities.