• How often does the Bureau inspect schools?
Currently all private schools in Dubai are inspected annually.
• How does the Bureau inspect the diverse range of schools in Dubai?
There is a diverse range of schools operating in Dubai, both government and non-government sectors, with many different curricula being studied. This makes Dubai’s education environment unique.
The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau evaluates schools’ effectiveness as educational organisations. DSIB does not evaluate individual teachers. The inspection framework has been developed for Dubai bearing in mind the qualities that are evident in high-performing schools regardless of the curriculum studied.
The outcomes of schools – the results of student testing on whichever curriculum they may be studying – are taken into account during the inspection process, as well as the results of international benchmarking tests that may be undertaken such as Trends in Mathematical and Science Study (TIMSS), Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Input from parents, teachers and students is also sought, through the use of questionnaires and focus groups.
• How does the Bureau work with schools?
Design of the inspection procedures has been carried out in collaboration with schools and DSIB works with principals and the wider school community, as well as taking into account global best practice, to ensure that the inspections meet the needs of Dubai’s broad range of education providers.
• How does the Bureau work with the Ministry of Education?
The Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau is an organisation within KHDA. KHDA has been mandated (law 30/2006) as responsible for the development and improvement of education in Dubai. This includes licensing of educational establishments, supervising these establishments, measuring and monitoring standards of education within these establishments and improvement planning and implementation.
• How does the Bureau work with parents?
The Bureau publishes regular information on standards of education for every school in Dubai. This information allows parents to make informed choices about the quality of education available. This supports parents as they seek to choose the best school for their children.
We consult with parents, as key members of the school community, to ensure that published information meets their needs as consumers of education services in Dubai.
• What do the technical terms “Key Question” and “Quality Indicator” mean?
School inspections are structured around seven Key Questions which are mentioned below. Each one of these includes one or more quality indicator, comprising a set of key aspects.
Quality Indicators are the criteria against which inspectors make judgements about the quality of the education schools provide.
We have consulted widely with principals and other key stakeholders in Dubai about what the Quality Indicators should be. The agreed Quality Indicators have been published so that all stakeholders know how inspectors make their judgements.
Key Questions and Quality Indicators should not be confused with standards. The term ‘standards’ refers to the performance level achieved by students.
Please click here to view the inspection handbook to learn more.
• What is inspected?
Inspectors will find answers in each school to a number of key questions, which are based on the outcomes of research into effective schooling across the world:
• How good are the students’ attainment and progress in key subjects?
• How good is the students’ personal and social development?
• How good are the teaching, learning and assessment?
• How well does the curriculum meet the educational needs of all students?
• How well does the school protect and support its students?
• How good are the leadership and management of the school?
• How well does the school perform overall?
Inspectors evaluate using four categories. These are:
• Outstanding: exceptionally high quality of performance or practice.
• Good: the expected level for every school in Dubai.
• Acceptable: the minimum level of quality required for Dubai. All key aspects of performance and practice in every school should meet or exceed this level.
• Unsatisfactory – quality not yet at the level acceptable for schools in Dubai. Schools will be expected to take urgent measures to improve the quality of any aspect of their performance or practice that is judged at this level.
DSIB has an electronic school self-evaluation form on KHDA’s website to help schools better organize this process. Each school is encouraged to produce a rigorous self-evaluation document and share it with the inspectorate three weeks before the inspection date. The inspectors in their different areas of responsibility are presumed to validate school self-evaluation by collecting evidence to support their final judgments. Using the answers to these questions from both the school self-evaluation and the inspection, inspectors then set out recommendations for what each school needs to do to improve further.
• Who are the inspectors?
Inspectors are recruited from across the region and from around the world with the knowledge, skills and expertise to make sound judgements about educational quality in Dubai.
We have recruited inspectors with a working knowledge of every curriculum relevant to Dubai and those who are bi-lingual in Arabic, English and other languages where relevant. Arab inspectors, including nationals and other local experts, join inspection teams and attend training to support the work of DSIB.
• What happens after an inspection?
Following a school inspection the inspectors provide a full written report that contains details of areas where the school is performing well and recommendations for further development.
Each school is then expected to prepare an action plan indicating how it will address the main findings of the report, and to share that plan with parents and school’s governing board. The next inspection will report on the progress made by the school against previous recommendations.