Parents offer help to keep Dubai school open

Parents of students at the Westminster school in Dubai have offered to increase educational fees they pay for their sons in order to keep the school open beyond 2014, The National reported on Tuesday.

“Over the past few days we have received many calls from Westminster parents indicating that they would pay up to double the fees to keep the school open,” a spokesman for the school’s operator, GEMS for private schools, was quoted as saying by The National.

The British-curriculum school recently announced that it can’t sustain its services beyond 2014 after it was rated ‘acceptable’ by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, which regulates private education in the UAE.

Such rating by the KHDA meant that Westminster, which charges an annual fee ranging from AED 5000 ($1,361) to AED 10000 ($2,720) per student, can’t raise its fees with more than 3% each year.

“We have now submitted a new fee structure to the KHDA requesting a special concession to increase fees in a phased approach,” Gems’ spokesman said.

“GEMS believes that even with this new fee structure the school will still be one of the more affordable K-12 British curriculum schools in Dubai.”

During inspections this year, inspectors said Westminster needed to improve its Islamic education and Arabic studies programmes, and provide more support for pupils with special needs, the report said.

The school was also asked to improve the delivery of the curriculum in the foundation stages and develop the role of middle managers to raise teaching and learning standards.