A file picture of the the Rashid School for Boys which was opened in 1986. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: The iconic Rashid School for Boys (RSB) and Latifa School for Girls (LSG) in Dubai, which count top Dubai leaders as their alumni, will operate under a single umbrella with a joint leadership structure and a unified name, Rashid and Latifa School (RLS).

The strategic announcement, made by Rashid and Latifa Schools Establishment (RLSE), is part of a vision to redevelop the two schools which were started in the 1980s.

Under the new arrangement, RLS will continue to offer single-gender education from Foundation Stage 1 to Year 13, with the girls situated on the current LSG site and the boys on the current RSB site.

History of the two schools
By virtue of Law No. (11) of 2022, Rashid and Latifa Schools was established as an integrated educational institution, combining RSG and RSB under a single umbrella to provide a world-class education to UAE residents and expatriates.
Latifa School for Girls (LSG) and Rashid School for Boys (RSB) were established in 1982 and 1986, respectively, through a Royal Decree by the late Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The institutions, which are two of the oldest and most prestigious schools in Dubai, count several Dubai leaders and public figures among their alumni, including Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council, Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Women’s Establishment and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture.

Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education and Chairman of Rashid and Latifa Schools Establishment’s Board of Trustees, explained: “When His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai tasked us with this initiative, he made one-point crystal clear to the trustees: that RSB and LSG should offer a transformative educational experience, one that transcends the traditional and serves as an incubator for the future leaders of the nation. Our plans and the resources accompanying them are focused on this one goal, and we are confident that we will achieve His Highness’ vision for the schools, through comprehensive development and setting plans that enable students to manage their education by exposure to real challenges, mastering skills and project-based learning, and providing an educational environment that focuses on the student and looks forward to the future.”

World-leading school

According to Dr. Al Falasi: “RLS will establish itself as a world-leading school through the formation of a learning environment that celebrates the individual as well as the collective achievements of all its members; RLS will inspire successful learners who, first and foremost, will understand themselves and their place in the world and concurrently will also value their connection to their local and global communities. And for this paradigm to take root, the physical environment, empowered by technology, shall go hand-in-hand with the learning contexts, offering intuitive pathways that drive personal growth and development.”

Dr. Al Falasi said: “We wish to embrace the aspirations of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in this ‘Year of Sustainability’ by positioning Rashid and Latifa School as a global centre of excellence for sustainability in education. Towards this end, the school will be an international leader in terms of design, materials, equipment, information technology infrastructure, and use of outdoor spaces for learning and inspiration. Construction of Rashid and Latifa School is expected to break ground in autumn this year, with the first phase of the school welcoming its new cohort of students from Foundation Stage 1 to Year 4 in September 2024.”

New principal

RLS has also appointed noted international educator Emma Nolan as principal of the school.

A British national, Emma has worked in education for over 20 years, with extensive experience setting up pioneering bilingual and multi-lingual schools in the UK, China and the UAE. She embarked on a career in education following her UK law degree and PGCE, fast-tracking to an appointment as deputy principal and then to a principal role of a large multicultural school in the UK before her move into international education.

Emma Nolan has been appointed as the new principal to lead RLS. Image Credit: Supplied

“My fellow trustees and I are excited to welcome Emma as the principal of RLS. She brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and a deep commitment to preserving the values and heritage that make this venerable institution stand apart from any other school,” commented Dr. Al Falasi.

Emma has previously served as the founding principal of a Nord Anglia bilingual school in China and, most recently, as principal of Al Danah Charter School with Aldar Education in Abu Dhabi, helping to forge the future of Emirati students through this pioneering and impactful project.

“I am delighted to embrace this new challenge and opportunity and be part of such a prestigious project inspired by the ideals of Dubai’s visionary leadership.” said Emma.

“Our journey is only beginning as we aim to grow caring, ambitious, healthy, and enterprising young people, ready to learn throughout their lives and equipped to play their part as leading ethical members of society. It will be a school not just renowned for its incredible academic profile but also for the exceptional contribution our students make to Dubai, to the UAE and the rest of the world,” she added.