Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) has outlined a framework to enhance the academic excellence of private schools in Abu Dhabi, with an optional increase of tuition fees approved for the 2023/24 academic year.

The announcement follows a three-year pause in tuition fees to support parents during the pandemic and recovery period.

The 2023/24 academic year marks the fifth consecutive year that private school tuition fee increases have been assessed. This is calculated based on the emirate’s Educational Cost Index (ECI) in collaboration with the Statistics Centre - Abu Dhabi (SCAD) and individual schools’ Irtiqaa inspection scores. As a result, ADEK has sanctioned tuition fee increases for the next academic year.

Schools that ranked ‘outstanding’ in their Irtiqaa inspections for the academic year 2021/22 have the option to increase their tuition fees with a maximum cap of 3.94 per cent in the new academic year, while schools that achieved a rating of ‘very good’ qualify for a 3.38 per cent tuition fee addition.

Schools rated as ‘good’ are permitted to apply a 2.81 per cent increase, and schools rating ‘acceptable’, ‘weak’, and ‘very weak’ can implement a maximum tuition fee increase of 2.25 per cent – reflecting the ECI score.

To be eligible for a standard tuition fee increase, the school must be operating for a minimum of three years and must adhere to the approved revised fees structure.

According to the latest Irtiqaa inspection results 11 schools were ranked ‘outstanding’, 37 ranked ‘very good’, 85 ranked ‘good’, 63 ranked ‘acceptable’, and one ranked ‘weak’.

The annual Irtiqaa inspections follow the UAE Unified School Inspection Framework and covers numerous performance standards: students’ achievement; students’ personal and social development and their innovation skills; teaching and assessment; curriculum; protection, care, guidance, and support of students; and leadership and management. Each standard incorporates 17 performance indicators to assess each school’s academic and administrative effectiveness.