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In Dubai high performing schools are getting the ability to opt out of regular assessments as part of a new education initiative.

This is of note as in the United Kingdom schools only have a limited amount of flexibility in the way they track, monitor and assess the progress of pupils.

Schools are required to comply with the national curriculum and the wide range of formal and informal assessments that are monitored at a local and a national level.

However, the requirement for regular assessment as part of the education process is not universally accepted and others across the UK and the world think other approaches may be more appropriate and beneficial to the learning of pupils.

The Dubai Approach

One country that has taken a different approach in schools is Dubai, where schools that are high achieving are able to opt out of regular assessments.

Arabian Business outlined the project in a recent article

“The Abundance Group project, initiated by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) will allow schools rated very good and outstanding the option of a differentiated inspection based on self-evaluation, allowing them to focus their resources on giving back to other schools.

This marks the first time an education regulator in the UAE has offered schools a choice to carry out self-evaluations instead of formal inspections in order to help improve standards across other poor performing schools.”

Analysis For The UK

It is noteworthy that at this point this is only for high achieving schools and whether this is a recognition of the importance of uniform assessment is beneficial in providing a pathway to measuring and improving pupil performance.

The Dubai Initiative is an interesting case study and I am sure people across the education system will be watching to see how this change affects performance.