Beatrice Cernuta quoted in EducationInvestor

In the article “Needs must,” EducationInvestor highlights that in January 2019, Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the emirate’s education watchdog, announced that all private schools must cater to special educational needs (SEN) students by 2020. The new regulation only applies to fee-charging schools – government-funded schools are not bound by the guidelines.

EY-Parthenon Vice President Beatrice Cernuta, who spent four years launching special needs settings in Dubai, weighed in. “At the moment, there are substantial differences in levels at which SEN inclusion is being provided across Dubai’s private schools.”

She notes that while the KHDA has “good intentions” and “a real concern around changing the reality on the ground for the better” in Dubai, “it’s going to be very challenging” for all private schools to meet the requirements largely due to two factors: cost and talent.

Given these challenges, Beatrice recommends that Dubai’s private schools act now to spark conversations with the regulator, if they haven’t done so already, in order to “understand in detail the aims of the KHDA and embrace where the regulator is trying to get to, which is a very important and positive space.” She encourages schools to “engage with [the KHDA] around how to apply the regulations and how they relate to the individual goals of schools.”

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