IPSEF Middle East, Dubai, 27-29 September 2016

Thank you to everyone who participated in IPSEF in Dubai 2016

The whole event was a great success and we look forward to returning in 2017. A special thank you to our sponsors, speakers, hosts, delegates and our local and virtual teams.

A review of the event

With the international and private school markets continuing to grow, and as competition increases, it’s increasingly critical that schools and investors planning to open new operations in education develop strategies for success. To assist that need IPSEF provided a unique reference point for all those involved in the financing, planning, design, delivery and management of a new school project.

By bringing together the diverse community involved in a new operation, IPSEF aimed to provide participants with not only valuable Case Studies of schools from across the MENA region but importantly a host of contacts that enabled attendees to plan projects with confidence.

Conference themes included:

  • Market trends and projections
  • How to select your key partners
  • Getting to know and work effectively with investors, architects, project managers and lawyers
  • Dubai school market as viewed by the KHDA, and opportunities for investors and schools
  • Understanding the role of the regulator, and securing your operation license
  • Financial models
  • Teacher recruitment and retention
  • Case Studies of new school operations
  • Assessment, school management
  • How to make your school distinct
  • Marketing your school and parent perceptions
  • Curriculum options

Speakers included:

Kalthoom AlBalooshi, Executive Director of Educational Development, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai

Dr Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Dubai

Anshul Arora, Co-Founder & CEO, Edvance Group, India

Ashwin Assomull, Managing Director, MENA Education Leader, Member of Parthenon-EY’s Education Practice, Dubai

Ross Barfoot, Partner, Clyde & Co, UAE

Graham Beale, Principal, The Arcadia Preparatory School, Dubai

Rowan Bell, Head of Human Resources, Taaleem

Lucy Bruce, Founder / Director of Education, Home Grown Nursery, Dubai

Michael Chung, CEO, CIG Education Group

Jonathan Dey, Principal/CEO, GEMS Wellington, Qatar

Rebecca Eldred, Assistant Head Teacher, Dubai English Speaking School

BK Gan, President, Taylor’s Schools, Malaysia

Richard Gaskell, Director for International Schools, The International School Consultancy (ISC Research), Thailand

Zahra Hamirani, CEO & Owner of Blossom Education, representing BEE Academy, Dubai

Lin Haouache, Trade Mark Attorney, Bird & Bird, UAE

Brian Hartman, Senior Director, International K-12 Initiatives, The College Board, USA

Jonathan Hughes-D’Aeth, Headmaster, Repton School, Dubai

Naveed Iqbal, Representative of Beam and Principal of the International School of Creative Science, Nad Al-Sheba campus, UAE

Diane Jacoutot, Managing Director, Edvectus, UK

Rick Johnson, CEO, EduReach Education, UK

Gillian Keogh, Naviance Administrator, American School of Dubai

Amit Kothari, Executive Director, Interstar Advisory Services

Brendan Law, Headmaster, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi

Ros Marshall, Chief Executive Officer, Taaleem, Dubai

Peter Milne, Founder/Director, Target4Green Educational Consultancy & Training, UK

James Mullan, Editor, Which School Advisor, UAE

Melissa Murray, Partner, Bird & Bird, UAE

James Neill, International Director, GL Education Group, UK

Andrew Nicol, Regional Managing Director, Asia and the Middle East, Hobsons

Chirag Patel, Chief Executive Officer, KOOH Sports, India

Gianluca Polidori, Sales Director, Dukes Education, UK

Jonathan Price, Managing Director, Eteach International, Dubai

Walid Ramadan, Chief Administration Officer, Bukhatir Education Advancement Management International (BEAM)

Neil Raymond, Owner and Director, Pacific Prime, Hong Kong

Juha Repo, Principal, Qatar-Finland International School

Tim Richardson, Head of Primary, Dubai International Academy

Charles Robinson, Development Director, International Schools Partnership Services Ltd., UK

Sarah Rogers, Chief Executive Officer, EYES & Quest, Dubai

Sheryl Rogers, Senior Manager, Digital Professional Learning and Development Education, TELLAL Institute of Teacher Learning & Leadership for All, Dubai

Fergus Rose, Advancement Director at ACS International Schools, UK

Dr. Linda Rush, Vice President, TELLAL Institute of Teacher Learning and Leadership for All, Dubai

Jitin Sethi, Vice President, Parthenon-EY

N. Tariq Shaikh, Economist, Principal Investment Expert, Education Entrepreneur

Christine Simmonds, Director of Schools Middle East, International Schools Partnership Services Ltd., UK

Elaine Stallard, Founder and CEO, Winter's International School Finder, UK

Elise Tarvainen, Director, Global Operations, EduCluster Finland, Doha

Taner Topcu, Academy Zone Director, Academy Zone, RAK Free Trade Zone, UAE

Navin Valrani, CEO, The Arcadia Preparatory School, Dubai

Ian White, Project Manager, Al Najah Education, Dubai

John C. Yiannoudis, Co-Founder, Owner & Director, Dorothy Snot Pre-School & Kindergarten, Greece

On day 3 we visited the following schools:

  • Jumeirah English Speaking School - Arabian Ranches
  • Taaleem Teachers Accommodation Block – Studio City
  • GEMS Nations Academy


Who attended the event:

Senior figures from schools and school groups (Owners, Heads, Bursars, Governors, Business Development Managers), investors (private equity, banks, corporates, private investment funds), governments (inspectors and regulators), inward investment bodies, relocation agents, curriculum and awarding bodies, consultants, architects, lawyers, property companies and developers, project managers, senior staff recruiters, publishers and suppliers of ICT and teaching resources, academics, CPD and training companies.

Thank you to our Exhibitors and Sponsors:

GL Education

GL Education

GL Education is a knowledge partner of IPSEF and a leading supplier of standardised assessments to schools in over 100 countries worldwide. We provide insight and advice to Ministries of Education, NGOs, investors and school leadership teams around the world to help them deliver better educational outcomes.

Visit www.gl-education.com



Naviance by Hobsons is the world’s leading comprehensive K-12 university and career readiness platform that enables self-discovery, career exploration, academic planning, and university preparation for millions of students around the globe. Naviance supports 10,000 schools in over 120 different countries, and enables schools to create personalized success plans for each of their students. Naviance allows students to collaborate with educators to set personal goals and tasks; search for colleges; and explore careers based on personal skills and interests.

Visit www.naviance.com

Oxford University Press


Oxford University Press is at the heart of the international classroom. Our specialist international team is dedicated to helping schools around the world choose the best resources and professional development for their needs.

For digital inspection copies, up-to-date catalogues and contact details, visit www.oup.com/oxed or email education.export@oup.com

Parthenon EY


As the leading advisor to the education sector globally, Parthenon-EY guides the largest organisations across sectors of education such as K-12, higher education, transnational education, vocational training, ELT, and education technology. The firm completes more than 150 education projects annually and has worked across 80 countries.

Visit www.parthenon.ey.com

Bridge U


Harlequin Floors

Open Apply

Pacific Prime

Scanning Pens