Enrolling a Child in a School

Information on the school enrolment procedure in Qatar...

One of the main issues that parents face is competition for places at oversubscribed international schools. As with many other elements of setting up arrangements for new employees in Qatar, employers sometimes take care of sorting out school places for children of staff, but in some instances it will be up to the parents to make the arrangements.

Registration

Registering early is the key to securing a place. At many international schools, registration applications can be submitted from the January before the start of the next school year (in September). In instances where an older sibling already attends the school, it may be possible to apply early, but the individual school's policy should be checked.

Some private schools incorporate kindergarten classes, which means children can enrol from as young as three. As Qatar has a fairly transient expatriate population, many children need to enrol midway through the school year upon arriving in Qatar. This is possible, although it depends on being able to find a school with an available place.

The enrolment process

The enrolment process varies from school to school, but is likely to involve paying a small application fee, and providing a non-refundable holding deposit.

After the initial application has been lodged, the school may request an interview with the parents, and carry out some form of assessment of the potential pupil.

If the child is offered a place, the standard documentation needed usually includes copies of passports and visas for the child and the parent, the child's birth certificate, and often a report or letter from their previous school. In years when schools are oversubscribed, a holding deposit is sometimes required simply to secure a place on a waiting list, which can prove expensive if applications are lodged at more than one school.