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FAQs for British Schools Overseas Inspections

Page last updated 12:31 PM - 08 March 2022

1. What are British School Overseas (BSO) inspections?

BSO inspection is a voluntary scheme for the inspection of British schools overseas, whereby schools are inspected against a common set of standards that British schools overseas can choose to adopt.

By achieving UK inspection-based approval, participating schools will be able to demonstrate that they provide a British education that has similar characteristics to an education in an independent school in the UK.

2. Can any British school in Dubai apply to be inspected by BSO?

There are 54 schools registered as offering a UK curriculum in Dubai. Any school which considers itself to be British can apply to be inspected. Schools which wish to retain their status as British schools under the education permit are encouraged to apply for registration for inspection against the standards of BSO.

Some of the standards against which schools will be inspected relate to the British nature of the school. Schools applying will wish to be confident that they will meet those standards.

3. What is the benefit of having a BSO inspection?

BSO inspections are rigorous and independent. The inspection reports enable parents, the school and other stakeholders to see how the school measures up against the standards that apply to independent schools in the UK, taking into account local requirements. Schools meeting the standards will receive recognition by the Department for Education of England and Wales (DfE).

DSIB and BSO inspections will be carried out simultaneously, minimising disruption to teachers and classes.

4. What are the differences between Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB) and BSO inspections?

DSIB and BSO use two distinct frameworks which contain detailed standards. Some of these standards are similar, while others are specific to each individual framework.

For example, both DSIB and BSO evaluate the effectiveness of teaching in promoting learning skills and progress. In addition, BSO evaluates how well the teaching enables students to enter or re-enter the UK education system at an appropriate level.

BSO inspections ensure that the quality of education offered by a British curriculum school in Dubai is similar to that offered by independent schools in the UK. DSIB inspections evaluate schools on the quality of education they offer, based on seven quality indicators.

Please refer to the BSO and DSIB handbooks for further information.

5. Will the results of BSO inspections have any impact on the education permit issued by KHDA?

Yes. Schools who meet BSO requirements will be classified as British.

6. Are there any plans to establish agreements with American authorities to inspect or accredit US curriculum schools?

The United States does not run an inspection service of the same nature as the UK. KHDA is discussing quality assurance of US curriculum schools in Dubai with several US accreditation bodies.
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