REVEALED: GEMS' letter to parents on school closure

Future of thousands of Dubai children under threat amid closure of Westminster School
REVEALED: GEMS' letter to parents on school closure
By Dino Varkey
Sun 16 Dec 2012 05:05 PM

Dear Parents,

The Westminster School, Dubai (TWS) is a school that has served the community faithfully for many years and we have been immensely proud of the schools many accomplishments and achievements during this time.

However, in recent times our ability to invest the resources required to produce the improvements needed, both educationally and in infrastructure, have been severely restricted because of the current fee structure. In order for all our students to reach the levels of academic success that our parents and GEMS expect, continuous investment is required.

Over the past five years, GEMS management, together with the leadership team from The Westminster School, Dubai has worked diligently to try and improve facilities and educational provision at the school.

While both GEMS and the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (DSIB)  have noted improvements, the judgement by DSIB on the schools performance remains ‘acceptable’, even after four years of inspections and despite rising examination results. 

At The Westminster School, over the past five years the average fee increase, per annum, has been just 167 dirhams. That equates to around 13 dirhams a month. For two of the past five years there has been no fee increase at all.

We simply cannot offer a high quality education at this level that we see as our duty to provide. Indeed, salary increases during the same period have been at a level higher than any fee awards.

Sadly and with regret, it is therefore our intention to close The Westminster School Dubai with effect from June 2014. KHDA has provided the necessary approvals.

Needless to say it has been a very difficult decision. We have decided to inform you now in order to provide you with as much time as possible to find a new school.

We have shown, over many years that we are deeply committed to our community and we are determined, with your support and engagement, to ensure that your children are given the option of a place in other GEMS schools from 2013 onwards in preparation for the closure in June 2014.

Students from TWS, Dubai will be given priority placement in the following GEMS schools from 2013 onwards. This is subject to meeting normal admissions procedures.

These schools include:

•        The Winchester School, Oud Metha – FS 1 and general secondary school enquiries excluding year 11 but including year 12. * This is subject to KHDA approvals for opening grades 9 – 13.

•        The Westminster school, Sharjah – Kindergarten – Year 9 enquiries.

•        The Winchester school, Jebel Ali – Year 12 enquiries only.

•        The Westminster school, RAK – Primary school enquiries.

•        Cambridge International school – Year 12 enquiries only.

Please view the above attachment for more information on the options available.

As GEMS increases capacity in its network further schools will be identified as destinations for priority placement for TWS students.


Dino Varkey

Group Executive Director

GEMS Education

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