Process of Enrolling Your Child in a UAE School

Are you moving to UAE with your family? Do you worry about the school admission of your child there? What if you get all the requisite information about the schools, curriculum, and the admission procedure in the UAE so that the entire process becomes smooth for you? 

Dubai has about 194 private schools that follow 16 curriculums, and Abu Dhabi has around 185 schools. However, seats in most of the sought-after schools fill up fast. In many countries, expatriates can send their kids to public or state schools, which are funded by the government, but in the UAE, as per the norm, expatriate children attend private schools. In the UAE, the responsibility for education lies in the hands of the Ministry of Education, which has the complete onus for Public Schools, which are open only to Emirati students and direct accountability for Private Schools in some, but not all, emirates.

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So, here is the admission process in Dubai schools and the factors you need to consider while selecting a school are:

  • Tuition fees and overall education costs
  • Which curriculum are you interested in?
  • Other factors like extra-curricular activities, teaching methodologies, parental support, etc.

How to find a suitable school for your child? (H3)

The first step should be to list down the names of all the schools suiting your child's educational needs and curriculum. Then, fix an appointment to go and visit the shortlisted schools. Find out about extra-curricular activities, what's the class sizes, exam rate success, and any specific needs you might have. Proper research which choosing schools are crucial, so spend some time and find out everything that the school offers. 

How to choose the apt curriculum? 

As a parent, you should opt for a curriculum depending on your child's requirements and what would suit him or her the best. There are about 13 curricula available in UAE schools as per ADEK and opting for a specific curriculum depends on multiple factors. Decide if you want an Indian education system or International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, and then shortlist schools which suit your needs the most. You should also find out what each curriculum includes. The IB is mostly considered as the "universal donor" of education and is most suitable if you are likely to move around to multiple countries.

How to Apply in Schools? (H2)

After finding an appropriate school, what's the admission process to apply in Dubai schools? Here are the steps you need to remember:

  1. Fill up the online application form and provide the necessary documents as needed by the school. 
  2. Fix up an appointment with the school for an assessment and then pay any application fees. 
  3. If you get an acceptance letter after assessment, you need to make a deposit to reserve your seat; otherwise, your place won't be held.

Tip: Beware of a school that is offering you a place on the spot as that could be a signal that the school isn't so much in demand and are desperate to add to their numbers.

Age criteria

If you are seeking admission in a private school in the UAE, your child needs to have completed four years of age, as per the guidelines released by educational authorities. The schools which begin their academic year in September allow those students to enroll who have completed the age of four by December 31. But if you choose an Indian curriculum school, which begins in April, then your child should have completed four years of age by July 31 of the admission year.

Documents required

Residence visa, Birth certificate of the child, Sponsor's passport and visa copy, Transfer certificate (if you're coming from overseas or from another Emirate), and Medical records. 

What to Expect from the Admission Test? (H2)

Admission tests totally depend on the grade and curriculum you are choosing. They typically check knowledge and understanding of key subjects like Math, Science, and English. In Abu Dhabi schools, children are mostly accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the admission tests are done to help find the child's grade level. In Dubai, however, admission tests are often prerequisites for most of the elite schools, and some of them also have a non-refundable fee going up to Dh1,000.

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