Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) is progressing in educating Emirati students on the values and culture of the UAE after eight schools were ranked as Outstanding as part of its National Identity Mark inspection, demonstrating the quality of national identity programmes across the emirate.

The first phase of inspection evaluations for the National Identity Mark covered 87 of the emirate's private schools.

The National Identity Mark is the UAE’s first annual school evaluation system designed to empower parents with valuable insights into the quality of national identity programmes and related activities within the emirate's private schools.

Following the launch of the inspection framework in May 2023, ADEK dedicated a team of Emirati inspectors to evaluate 87 private schools with the highest number of Emirati students. Eight schools received an Outstanding evaluation for demonstrating exceptional national identity integration within the curriculum, school provisions and their impact on students. The British International School in Abu Dhabi rated Outstanding in the latest Irtiqa’a inspection. The remaining schools which received an Outstanding rating for their national identity programmes include Sheikh Zayed Academy for Girls; Sheikh Zayed Academy for Boys; Emirates National Schools, MBZ City; Al Ittihad National Private School, Khalifa City; Al Ittihad National Private School, Shakhbout City; Emirates National Schools, Branch 3; and ADNOC Schools, Sas Al Nakhl.

A further 21 schools received Good, while 35 received Acceptable, and 23 received Weak evaluations.

The National Identity Mark evaluations were based on the alignment of the school national identity narrative, lesson observations, review of key documents and most importantly on interactions with teachers, students and staff to evaluate impact across the school.

The national identity mark covers three domains: Culture including history, heritage, and Arabic language; Values including respect, compassion, and global understanding; and Citizenship including belonging, volunteering, and conservation.

The next phase of evaluations will start the next academic year 2023/24. Private schools without national enrolment are encouraged to feature national identity programs and activities designed to engage their students with the country's rich heritage and deep-rooted traditions.

The National Identity Mark rankings are assessed separately from ADEK’s Irtiqa’a Inspection, which covers the performance standards of Abu Dhabi's private schools and provides recommendations for improved performance.