The Westminster School has apologised for any confusion over exam fees Image Credit: xpress/ AHMED RAMZAN

DUBAI: A Dubai school has apologised to parents for the confusion caused after sending them a letter that wrongly said they would have to pay exams fees for grade nine.

The Westminster School, a private British curriculum school in Al Ghusais run by Gems Education, had said in the June 25 letter that it will charge Dh475 per subject for grades nine and higher, and Dh150 per subject for grade six in exam fees.

No further details on the exam fees were available in the letter, which was primarily about the school raising tuition fees by three per cent from next academic year in September.

Parents had then assumed grade nine students who take eight subjects, for example, would have to pay Dh3,800 on top of their new tuition fees of Dh8,459 – equal to 45 per cent of tuition.

Those interviewed by XPRESS had said they were not charged exam fees previously in grade six or nine, adding the exam fee regime mentioned in the letter appeared to be a new development.

However, the school clarified the issue in a statement on Thursday, saying “it apologised for causing confusion amongst parents by distributing a letter that said examination fees would be charged in grade nine and above. This was an administrative error as parents have never been charged for examination fees in grade 9 because there are no board exams.”

It added: “The letter should have read that examination fees will be charged from grade 10 and above. This has always been the case and these fees are not ‘new’ fees. Every international school does the same. These fees have not increased at Westminster for four years.
“To be clear there are board examinations in grade 10, 11, 12 and 13.
“There was also reference to a charge of Dh150 for students in grade six because the school was introducing the Cambridge Primary Program and fees are charged in all schools offering this program. The school is reviewing this charge and will let parents know the outcome in September when school resumes.
“A clarifying letter to parents is being distributed by the Principal today.”

A parent had earlier said “the school should clarify these points in an e-mail to parents,” while another one had added that “no explanation or details about the exam fees were given in the letter.”