- Umm Suqeim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The English College Dubai
The English College Dubai – is a private Year 7 to 13 school located in Umm Suqeim, Dubai. The school was established in 1992 and until it closed its Primary section, catered to 1028 students – an already small student body for a Dubai based school that from September (2014) becomes smaller still. The closure of the primary section was largely unexpected. According to official information, the secondary school will be unaffected, although this has not stopped parents from worrying its closure is also on the cards.
The school has recently appointed a new principal (September 2014), Ian Jones who will hope to steady the ship. Jones was previously head teacher at the Dhahran British Grammar School, and the head of primary at The Sultan’s School in Oman.
The English College is a very liked school by parents and students. It is known for being slightly quirky, and a little bit artistic. The school is rated Good by the KHDA (2013/14), the second highest grade awarded by Dubai’s education regulator, and a level it has held consistently since inspections began (now 6 years on the trot). Students, in general, make “outstanding” progress in a number of subjects and display positive and responsible attitudes. The breadth and richness of the curriculum is enhanced by high quality teaching. The school also has an outstanding programme of extra-curricular activities and excursions.
English College Dubai follows the English National Curriculum. Of note all staff members are UK qualified, excluding the Arabic and Islamic Education teachers, at the time of the KHDA’s last inspection. The school is bucking the IB trend, and offers GCSE and A-level based examinations.
The school is said to provide “Outstanding” special needs provision to the limited number of children that require it. The school offers a “limited number of places for students with specific learning difficulties” and “these places fill very quickly”. A student will only be admitted “if it is ascertained that the College can provide the supportive environment in which he or she can succeed.” The school does not, however, provide design technology which is a requirement under the British curriculum.
The school has good facilities (swimming pool, indoor sports hall, shaded play areas, learning support, shared sports field) with a strong art department but these facilities are becoming a little frayed at the edges, according to parents to whom we spoke. A little investment in the existing infrastructure and facilities would be welcomed warmly by parents and pupils alike.
Established, with a very happy student body, English College, Dubai has a relatively low key atmosphere that consistently seems to deliver the goods. Ranked ‘Good’ by the KHDA for six years in a row, EC is well liked by by parents and the students who attend. Nurturing is a word that’s over used by UAE schools, but for EC at least it seems to resonate with a good teacher to student ratio, and learning support. While it may have made good business sense to close the primary section, for many it is considered a loss to the Dubai education landscape.
School fees (as of 2013/14) range between 45,486 AED to 54,493 AED per year depending upon grade which places the school mid table in terms of fees. In terms of its peers, a high achieving, UK curriculum school,
Level taught: 7-13
Curriculum: A’ Level, GCSE, National Curriculum for England
Principal and Owner: Ian Jones
School Inspection Rating: Good
Year Founded: 1992
The English College Dubai
Address: Umm Suqeim PO Box 11812 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reception Opening Times:
Sunday to Wednesday 7:30am to 3:30pm
Thursday 7:30am to 1:00pm