Update as of 20 January 2015:
The new Parent-School Contract is being implemented in phases by the KHDA in all Dubai schools. It is set to be introduced as a mandatory procedure in 34 Indian and Pakistani schools by April 2015. When you go to enroll your child you will be required to sign the contract as part of the registration process.
Twenty four Dubai schools have released the new 2014-15 Parent-School Contracts as of June 2014 after a pilot phase last year. The KHDA saw a 20 percent drop in the number of complaints from schools and parents who signed the document in the pilot phase.
Individual schools write up their contracts but the KHDA has to approve before they can be sent to parents. The contracts are mandatory for registration and re-registration and will be updated annually.
What does it cover?
- Annual school fees, additional mandatory fees, refunds, discounts, scholarship policy, siblings, and fee increases
- Admissions, curriculum and educational programs, such as mandatory subjects, educational streams, extra-curricular activities, grades required for GCSEs, A levels etc. Many schools may include clauses on what they can offer in terms of additional learning support and what the parent will need to cover financially
- Attendance, punctuality and minimum number of days any child has to be in school. If they miss too many they cannot move up to the next year group.
- Attitudes and behavior, e.g. policy on bullying
- Transportation, health and safety, communications
- Appeal process
This year there will be an additional clause stating that all students over the age of 15 must sign the contract with their parents.
Schools will also be expected to put in place a zero-tolerance cyber-bullying policy. The policy must ensure that parents and students using social media forums demonstrate respect for all members of the school community.
“A lot of the information in the contracts is already in the school handbook – but very few parents read it or take much notice of it,” said one teacher.
“If used in the right way it could be good for everyone. If expectations on both sides are in black and white and legally binding, it can only be a good thing. It takes the pressure off schools and teachers.”
In the 2014/15 academic year, a total of 38,624 students will be involved in the project.
Amal Bel Hasa, Chief of Compliance and Resolution Commission at KHDA, said: “The contract is an essential tool for developing constructive and co-operative relationships between schools and parents.
“It fully outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties, protects their rights and serves as a reference guide for solving any misunderstandings that may arise. KHDA will always refer to the contract for its decision-making.”
Schools participating in the 2014/15 program:
- Dubai National School
- Al Ittihad Private School (BR)
- Dubai Modern Education School
- Dubai National School (Branch)
- Dubai International private School – BR
- Al Ittihad Private school
- Al Khaleej National School
- Modern Skills School
- The School of Research Science
- Dubai International private School
- Dubai Arabian American Private School
- Al Shurooq Private School
- Greenwood International School
- New World School Private
- Al Mawakeb School – Br
- Al Maaref Private School (LLC)
- Mirdif Private School
- New Academy School
- Sharjah & American International Private school
- International Academic School
- Al Arqm Private School
- Al Mizhar American Academy School
- Dar Al Marefa School
- Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Islamic Institute
- Dubai school registration open dates for entry 2014/15
- Abu Dhabi school registration open dates for entry 2014/15
- Guide to choosing a school in the UAE
Full information available on the KHDA site