There's much to cheer for Abu Dhabi private schools. According to their education regulatory authority, the schools have shown substantial improvement in the end-of-the-cycle inspection report card.
Schools are inspected every two years by the Inspection and Monitoring Division in Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (Adec) private schools sector.
The first inspection of private schools were held from 2009 to 2011.
The second cycle, which is the most recent, ended in June 2013.
Inspectors judged the overall effectiveness of schools based on internationally benchmarked performance standards set by Adec.
Schools are then given a written report that describes their most significant strengths and areas for improvement across the standards and identifies what they need to do to improve and then, work on a School Development Plan.
The report emphasises improvement for teachers, school leaders and policy makers. It also provides important indicators for parents about what makes schools more effective.
Schools are graded for overall effectiveness in three bands: Band A – high performing, Band B – satisfactory and Band C – in need of significant improvement.
The proportion of high performing schools (Band A) increased from 11 to 15 per cent since the previous inspection, with a decline from 72 per cent to 66 per cent of schools in need of significant improvement (Band C).
Positive change in the grade for overall effectiveness was noted for 93 schools, the report highlighted.
It is important to note that despite being in Band C, 37 per cent of all schools achieved Grade 6 for their overall effectiveness which means they are on the cusp of being satisfactory schools (Band B) and are on the right track of their improvement journey.
Of the 146 private schools inspected in the second cycle, 127 had been previously inspected in the first cycle.
“These results are part of Abu Dhabi government’s vision to offer first-class education to students, which requires continuous follow up and hard work from all parties concerned," said Hamad Al Dhaheri, Adec’s Private Schools Executive Director.
The inspection reports for each school is on the Adec website - http://www.adec.ac.ae/en/education/keyinitiatives/pages/irtiqaa-reports.aspx.
Al Dhaheri explained that the schools are inspected based on eight performance standards-- students attainment and progress; students personal development; the quality of teaching and learning; the meeting of students needs through the curriculum; the protection, care, guidance and support of students; the quality of the school’s buildings and premises; the school’s resources to support its aims and finally, the effectiveness of leadership and management.
He added that 5,662 people viewed the parent’s guide on inspection reports online which is a great achievement since a student’s educational journey is far more successful when parents are involved and well informed.
Schools are also required to encourage parents to fill out a questionnaire for the inspection.
“Schools now have a clear agenda to raise their overall standards and improve quality of education from all perspectives,” concluded Dhaheri.
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