Parents welcome Abu Dhabi school quality report

Adec says that the ranking is a slight improvement from the first inspection cycle.

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ABU DHABI // Parents will now have access to detailed information about the quality of their children's schools.
On Thursday, Abu Dhabi Education Council will release a 44-page report detailing the results of school inspections held in the emirate's 146 private schools between 2011 and 2013. The findings will be available online at
The report shows that 100 of the 146 private schools audited between 2011 and 2013 are "in need of significant improvement" - rated unsatisfactory, very unsatisfactory or poor.
For Emirati parent Amna Saeed, who is trying to find a school to enroll her four-year-old daughter at this autumn, the results could not come soon enough.
"As first-time parents, we felt it was really helpful to us, to guide us where to put our child because we're really confused because there are so many schools out there," Mrs Saeed said.
"We just didn't know which one was the best and, like all parents, you look for the best for your kids. It really helps to at least guide us to the top schools. It's helpful, they shortlist it for us. Because there are a lot of schools, a lot of private schools."
Click here to see interactive of rankings
Inspectors spent four days assessing private schools in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Gharbia. They visited classrooms, interviewed teachers and pupils and surveyed parents. 
The schools were graded on eight performance standards: pupils' attainment and progress; their personal development; quality of teaching and learning; the extent to which the school was meeting pupils' needs through the curriculum; the protection, care, guidance and support of pupils; the quality of the school's infrastructure; the school's resources to support its aims; and the effectiveness of leadership and management.
Inspectors ranked the schools from one, outstanding, to eight, poor. These grades were then grouped into one of three bands, A, B and C.
The results are a slight improvement from the first inspection cycle from 2009 to 2011, when 92 of the 127 private schools audited were grouped in Band C for unsatisfactory. The results of the inspection cycle ending in 2011 were the first to be made public since inspections began in 2008.
While the proportion of unsatisfactory schools is slightly smaller, some schools are also improving. In the latest report, 23 were deemed to be "high performing" compared with 14 in 2011, and 29 were satisfactory compared with 21 in 2011.
"Schools offering either a British or an American curriculum are the only large groups in which a majority provides education of a satisfactory or better quality," the inspection report says. 
The results indicate that nearly two thirds of private-school pupils, 111,040 children, attend schools that are in need of significant improvement.
The schools regulator, Adec, the Abu Dhabi Education Council, says progress is being made.
The report also outlines some success stories. Four schools are highlighted for making dramatic improvements.
Al Sanawbar Private School, of Al Ain, jumped from the lowest rank to the highest in a matter of two years. It hired a consultant to help bring it to higher standards that have earned it a Band A rating last year.
Vice principal Hala Sarieddine said the ranking helped to boost staff morale, raise standards and also increase interest among prospective parents.
"It was very rewarding for the school when we got the Band A," she said.