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Deira International School (DIS), owned and operated by Al Futtaim Education Foundation, has announced the appointment of Mr Simon O’Connor as its new Director, starting from the next Academic Year, 2020 – 2021. Following two years of dedicated service to the DIS community and contributing towards its strong position as a leading school in Dubai, current director Mrs Ruth Burke has decided to step down.

Deira International School offers a world-class international education at one of the region’s most outstanding campuses with more than 1,600 students representing over 80 nationalities. The School follows an English National Curriculum model leading to the Cambridge Board IGCSE examinations in Year 11 and International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in Year 13. Its external examination results are outstanding and notably above the world averages, with graduates attending some of the best universities across the world.

“Al Futtaim Education Foundation is extremely pleased to have Simon as Director of Deira International School.  We are confident that the best-in-class experience and quality he brings will take the school to the next level of outstanding performance, and help the students achieve their full potential,” said Fadi Hammadeh, Board Member, Al Futtaim Education Foundation and Chairman of DIS Board.

O’Connor is a highly experienced School Director with over 21 years of experience serving prestigious and reputable schools in the UAE and the UK. Prior to joining Deira International School, he spent seven years in Jumeirah College, a KHDA Outstanding-rated school, leading the school as a Principal, retaining its Outstanding rating and achieving exam results in the top 2% worldwide. Under his leadership, the school also gained the coveted accreditation of HPL ‘World Class School’ in 2018/19 raising the standards of academic achievement and improve the quality of learning and teaching.

Commenting on his new position, Simon O’Connor, Director, Dubai International School said, “I’m excited to take up the position of Director at Deira International School and help the school continue to grow and improve, with the aim of being the leading British school in the region. As DIS is founded on a strong community, my initial focus will be immersing myself in its strong culture. Whilst the priority of any school must be its teaching and learning, all elements of administration and operations must be attuned to supporting the work in the classroom.’’

O’Connor has been recognised as one of the top Education Influencers by ‘Which School Advisor’ and was a finalist in the ‘Top Principal’ category in the UAE. In addition to his role as Principal, Simon has been a School Cluster Lead, overseeing both secondary and primary schools.

‘’The Al-Futtaim Education Foundation has always had an impressive reputation across the Dubai education sector for playing a leading role in supporting the vision of the Government of Dubai and meaningfully impacting the education scene in the UAE and beyond. I am very fortunate to work with an organisation that is so committed to providing innovation within education, as demonstrated by its conference last year that celebrated the Arabic language and how to keep it relevant today.  I am particularly looking forward to integrating the work-based learning opportunities that the foundation offers into DIS’’, he added.