Dubai schools improve SEND provisionMay 17, 2017, 6:55 am GMT
The majority of private schools in Dubai (61%) now offer a level of SEND provision that has been rated Good or better, according to the latest KHDA school inspection report.
The schools with Good or better SEND provision cater to 78% of all Dubai students identified to have a learning difficulty.
Inspection findings show a correlation between improvements in provision and effective leadership in inclusive schools. 69% of schools now provide a good or better quality of leadership of provision for students with SEND.
The improving capacity of schools to be inclusive has ensured that more students have access to positive learning opportunities. Consequently, outcomes for students with SEND continue to improve with nearly 60% of students with SEND making good or better progress.
DSIB executive director Fatma Belrehif commented: "You now have leaders represented on the boards and leadership committees of schools – they have a voice and steer the school's priorities, so the schools are making inclusion one of their main agendas. When you make it a priority, you put in your resources and your intentions to improve the quality of the provisions.
"It means the relationship between parents and schools is getting better in terms of the educational journey of the child and around their education development plans – where they have been, their starting points, and where they are now. It also means that schools are making the curriculum adaptations that are needed in order to meet the needs of the child and it also means that the progress of the children is meeting the expectations.
"In many ways this reinforces Dubai's strategy to have a cohesive society where all of our differences are really embraced and disability is not the individuals or the students, but the disability is the barriers that create the challenge. Inclusion is really about breaking down all of these barriers and making education accessible. So it's not really about the child, but the other sources around the child that make it possible for the child to attain better."
Despite significant improvements in this area, an urgency for action remains. Nearly 40% of private schools in Dubai continue to use approaches which restrict outcomes for students with learning challenges. Consequently they are Acceptable or Weak and are below the expected level.
According to the KHDA, it is essential that school owners, operators, governors and senior leaders recognise and prioritise the need to develop their educational services for students with SEND, in accordance with the Dubai Disability Strategy. This must become a key improvement initiative for all schools, and particularly for those operating at a level which is below the standards expected in Dubai.
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