Getting School admission in Abu Dhabi
ADEK’s policy is that children attending all international curricula with the exception of the UK curriculum must be aged 4 on 31st December if they are to join a school with a September to June academic year, or aged 4 on 31st July for Indian, Pakistani and Japanese schools commencing their academic year in April.
ADEK is responsible for Private Education regulation from KG1 to Grade 12. In the UK curriculum, this translates to FS2 to Year 13 (see our Age/Grade table at Getting a School Place in the UAE). Families wishing to place their child in FS1 (pre-KG equivalent) in a UK curriculum school in Abu Dhabi can do so provided, the child is 3 years old on 31st August.
Children are legally required to be in school in the year in which they turn 6 years of age – this is Year 2/Grade 1.
Private schools manage their enrolment and registration themselves, but are required to adhere to a set of requirements laid out in a policy document issued by the regulator. ADEK uses an on-line registration system (e-SIS) which is updated by the schools’ Admissions teams.
Some private schools will require your child to participate in an assessment to determine your child’s current level of academic or personal development. This may take the form of an individual interview or group assessment – you can find out from the school Admissions team whether your child will be asked to take part in such an assessment and what form it will take.
Many schools accept registration on-line via their websites, but some may ask you to visit the school to complete the application process. You will also need to submit supporting documents.
Documents required for getting School Admission
The types of documents you may be asked to submit include:
1. Birth Certificate (Attested where required – link to Getting a school place in the UAE)
2. Emirates ID (or copy of Emirates ID Application if in progress)
3. Passport and Residency visa copies (both parents’ and student’s)
4. Recent passport size photograph of the student (Coloured with white background)
5.Vaccination Cards for FS2/KG- Year3/Grade 2 students.
When to Register / Apply for School admissions
Most schools have specific periods during the academic year when they open registration for the year groups or grades in high demand. This applies particularly to families seeking places in FS1, FS2 and KG1 and KG2 and for students seeking places in Secondary or Middle School (year 7/grade 6).
Most schools offering a September start will take applications for these year groups/grades from October through to December, although parents may apply to school for admission at any point during the academic year. Many schools have a policy giving priority to siblings and will often open applications to these children in advance of the general admission period.