09 Jun. 2017

The National Addresses Incorrect Article

Dear Parents,

Please read below The National’s response to their original article regarding ADEC’s enrolment ban.  You can see the original article here: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/abu-dhabi-schools-say-enrolment-ban-is-harming-admissions


Abu Dhabi schools say enrolment ban is harming admissions

One school said the public naming of it as one of the weakest has led to 150 prospective pupils putting their enrolment on hold.

But another said its low ranking was based on an inspection two years ago and hopes to turn its fortunes around in the coming months.

Principals from the schools that are listed by Abu Dhabi Education Council as barred from enrolling more pupils say the registration ban only applies to Emiratis.

Adec announced last month that it had “ceased the registration of new or transferring students to private schools that received ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ performance rankings” in inspection reports.

However, the education regulator did not distinguish between expatriate and Emirati pupils when announcing the ban on May 23.

Expatriates make up about 76 per cent of the pupil population in the emirate’s private schools.

“You can’t believe how much hysteria this has created and a lot of upset this has caused with the parents as well,” Al Ain English Speaking School principal Andrew Thomas said of media reports of Adec’s statement.

“It’s been quite distressing for everybody concerned, actually.”

Mr Thomas said his school has been prohibited from enrolling new Emirati pupils and that the ban is based on the last time it was inspected, in 2015, when the school dropped from satisfactory under the old performance standards to weak under the new standards, which reduced the performance categories from eight to six.

“The inspection is nearly two years old and we’ll be looking forward to the new inspection coming in November, when I am absolutely confident that the team will see a completely different picture,” said Mr Thomas, who took over as principal in 2015.

“We dramatically improved teaching and learning at the school. We have made a huge investment to the school. We are a very professional outfit.”

H Fatih Adak, principal of Abdulla bin Zubair Private School in Al Ain, said he feared Adec’s list may have cost him dozens of expatriate students.

“I had maybe 150 people who were planning to register in my school, now all of them have a question mark,” said Mr Adak.

“I’m glad that some of them are calling us because they say, ‘Oh, we heard that you cannot register students. I said, ‘No, that is false information’.”

Mr Adak said he believed his school has been permitted to continue accepting new expatriate pupils because it has been improving over the last three inspections in 2013, 2015 and 2016, despite falling into the Band C category, which means it is in need of significant improvement.

“Adec is suspending the schools who are not making any progress,” he said. “If we were not making progress, they would close the full registration, for expats and Emirati students. We are making progress from the previous inspection.”

David Allison, the chief executive of SSAT Education, a consulting firm that works with schools across Abu Dhabi, said he advises parents of children entering one of the schools identified by Adec as being weak or very weak to visit.

“Find out what their plans are to improve. If they’ve got plans, what are they doing about it? Or what are the benchmarks?” said Mr Allison.

Adec was not available for comment.


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