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Educational Options

Saudi Arabia – Educational Options

Educational options for your family in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

There are a few options to consider when moving to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with your family.

Saudi Local Schools

These schools are strictly segregated, all lessons are conducted in Arabic and entry is restricted to Muslim students only. There are 25 public schools and there is a fantastic pupil to adult ratio of 12:1; the lowest in the world. Unfortunately, Saudi schools are not an option for expats so looking for a private school is your best option.

Expatriate Schools in Saudi

There are a number of International schools as well as schools specifically for children from a particular country of origin. These schools will deliver an educational curriculum based either on the US curriculum, the National curriculum of the UK or mixture which will deliver the UK or US curriculum with the addition of foreign languages course in Arabic, Hindi, Filipino or Urdu.

Places at these schools are in high demand and it’s advised to enquire about a place as soon as you know you will be moving to the country.  Schools will admit new pupils at the start of the school year and all are selective, asking for a test to measure ability, although most will not turn down a new pupil based on performance.

These schools are fee charging. This fee may be covered by your new employer but as an average expect to pay between £2000 per year for the youngest year group to £12,000 per year for older children completing GCSE’s or their equivalent.

Boarding Schools Outside of Saudi

The other option you have is to keep your children in your country of origin and place them in a boarding school. This is a personal decision; if you’re happy to be apart from your kids then this may be an option you are willing to consider.

How do I Apply for a Place at the School?

Places are limited in private schools so it’s best to contact the schools directly to see what the formal process is. Most require a formal assessment which would take place at the school. This would also include a tour of the school and the opportunity for your child to spend a day in the classroom to see if they like the environment.
Things to think about when considering a school

There are a few things you need to consider when looking at a school for your children in Saudi Arabia; this handy checklist should help…
  • What curriculum does the school follow? Which country do they follow?
  • Does the school have a good academic record? Can you see a copy of their latest results?
  • What countries do most of the students come from?
  • Is religion a key part of the curriculum? Is one religion followed?
  • What is the average class size and are there enough desks for each pupil/educational resources for each pupil?
  • What nationality are the teachers and to what level are they qualified?
  • Does the school support children with educational or social difficulties?
  • What extracurricular opportunities are available? Sports, Art, Drama etc?
  • What technology is offered to support your child’s learning (access to computers, IPADS etc)?
  • How often do you get reports on your child’s progress?
  • What are the timings for the school day and term dates?
  • What are the fees and how do these get paid? Are there any extras you need pay for e.g., meals, kit, books etc?
  • What is the security provision like at the school? Is transport arranged to and from school and is it properly supervised
  • What are some of the schools greatest achievements?
  • What does the school still need to work on and how is it addressing these needs?

Please find below a list of the most highly regarded private schools in Saudi Arabia

  • Abqaiq Academy,
    PO Box 31677, Al-Khobar, 31952
    (Tel. 966-3-566 0410).
    Ages 3–14
  • Al Khobar British International School,
    PO Box 4359, Al-Khobar 31952
    (Tel. 966-3-895 1404).
    Ages 3–16
  • Asir Academy,
    Consulate General Box R, Unit 61901, APO, AE 09809-1901
    (Tel. 966-7-223 3961).
    Ages 4–14
  • Asir Preparatory School,
    PO Box 34, Khamis Mushayt
    (Tel. 966-7-222 0545).
    Ages 3–11
  • British International School,
    PO Box 6453, Jeddah 21422
    (Tel. 966-2-699 0019).
    Ages 3–16
  • British School,
    PO Box 85769, Riyadh 11612
    (Tel. 966-1-248 2387).
    Ages 4–14
  • Dhahran British Grammar School,
    PO Box 677, Dhahran 31932
    (Tel. 966-3-891 9555).
    Ages 3–15
  • Hafr Al-Batin Academy,
    PO Box 10023, Hafr Al-Batin 31991
    (Tel. 966-3-787 4234).
    Ages 4–14
  • Jeddah Peparatory and Grammar School,
    c/o British Consulate General, PO Box 6316, Jeddah, 21442
    (Tel. 966-2-693 7380).
    Ages 3–14
  • Jubail British Academy,
    PO Box 10059, Madinat Al-Jubail, Al-Sinaiyah 31961
    (Tel. 966-3-341 7550).
    Ages 4–13
  • Jubail International,
    Jubail 31961
    (Tel. 966-3-341 7550).
    Ages 4–14
  • Medical City Primary School,
    King Khalid National Guard Hospital, PO Box 9515, Jeddah 21423
    (Tel. 966-2-665 3400).
    Ages 3–11
  • Taif Academy,
    Unit 61206, APO, AE 09802-1206
    (Tel. 966-2-725 4666).
    Ages 4–14

Useful sources of additional information are the following British Council offices:

  • The British Council Eastern Province
    (Tel. 966-3-826 9036)
  • The British Council Riyadh
    (Tel. 966-1-462 1818)
  • The British Council West Saudi Arabia
    (Tel. 966-2-672 3336).

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