Dubai's schools authority is considering introducing a single application process for private schools that would bring to an end parents forking out hundreds of dirhams per application.
Arabian Business understands that the Knowledge and Human Development Authority is looking at the new model to streamline school waiting lists.
It would bring to end the controversial system in place whereby most private schools charge a non-refundable application fee of as much as AED500 per child, with no guarantee an offer will be made.
With places in the best schools scarce, many parents apply to multiple schools, often paying thousands of dirhams in registration fees but still failing to secure a place.
In some cases, schools have been accused of accepting the money knowing their waiting list already is too long for the child to have any chance of being offered a place.
Schools are known to give preference to children from certain nurseries, siblings and families.
When Arabian Business revealed the issue in January, some schools claimed the AED500 it charged applying parents was to cover processing costs.
KHDA is thought to be working on a new application system, but is also assessing schools’ financial needs as part of the process.