Skip to main content

Originally, romantically known as the Kingdom of the Ammonites and founded, like Rome, on seven hills, Amman is now a sprawling metropolis, attracting multinational companies and thus globe-trotting executives (and their children, who need international schools).

Successive waves of refugees have led to the rapid expansion of the city, which now houses four million people and there is also an annual tourist influx, as the city is the gateway to ‘Rose-red’ Petra, one of the world’s most evocative historical sites. Amman has been described by expats as an ‘oasis of calm and peace’ in the middle east, as it has always maintained strong ties with western countries and has an excellent health service but it’s probably safer to use wheels to get around (or at least a taxi, as local driving is somewhat experimental).

If you do set out walking to your destination, you will quickly understand why so many areas are called either ‘Jebal’ or ‘Wadi’ because the whole place is built on ‘hills’ and ‘valleys’ and a short distance can feel like riding a static roller-coaster. Foreigners tend to live in the comparatively westernised centre of the city, so they often plump for Jebel Amman, with its coffee shops and smart hotels or Jebal Weibdeh, with its more artistic and trendier vibe.

Not as popular a location for expats to bring their families, as Dubai and Doha, despite being the regional headquarters of several global giants, which means that it has failed (as yet) to attract the same number of major educational players to set up shop.


Opened as a school for the British military (housed in the airport), the accredited International Community School was the first on the scene and now operates on the outskirts of Amman, teaching an English curriculum. The Americans followed swiftly, opening the American Community School in 1955, one of only two international schools to offer the American High School Diploma and Advanced Placement courses, the other being King’s Academy, which, unlike all the other international schools, only takes students from the age of 12. The Modern American School, as its name suggests, provides a US diploma but the remainder of the curriculum is devised by the school.

If you are looking for a British education (in terms of curriculum), your other choice apart from the International Community School is the clearly named New English School (not so new as it was founded in the 1980’s), where around 60 per cent of the students are local. The remainder of the all-through schools are Amman Baccalaureate School, Cambridge High School, International Academy Amman and Mashrek International School. However, the first three of these are basically local schools with over 90 per cent Jordanian pupils, whilst just half of the students at Mashrek International School are local.

There are two other players that take children from kindergarten to graduation, the Lycée Francais d’Amman and the International School of Choueifat, Amman. The former teaches a traditional French curriculum leading to the French Diplôme National du Brevet and culminating in the French Baccalaureate, whilst the latter follows the SABIS educational system, which is a proprietary education programme, taught in English.

Amongst the nurseries and kindergartens, there is one (Eco Kids Pre-School & Kindergarten) that was brought to our attention some time ago and is now nearly twenty years old and there is also the Hill House Kindergarten & Nursery, as a bilingual option, if you want your child to experience Arabic at an early age.

For more information on these schools, please go to each school’s individual entry on the GSGI database or The GSGI article 'Best schools in Amman considered by expats'.

And finally…

It is yet to be seen whether, either the British or any other global educational brands will decide to open up here, but at the moment the selection is somewhat limited and a large number of  expats choose to send their children to boarding schools in the UK, America or their home countries.

Most popular Good Schools Guide articles

  • Special educational needs introduction

    Need help? Perhaps you suspect your child has some learning difficulty and you would like advice on what you should do. Or perhaps it is becoming clear that your child's current school is not working for him or her, and you need help to find a mainstream school which has better SEN provision, or to find a special school which will best cater for your child's area of need. Our SEN consultancy team advises on both special schools, and the mainstream schools with good SEN support, from reception through to the specialist colleges for 19+. Special Educational Needs Index

  • Uni in the USA... and beyond

    The British guide to great universities from Harvard to Hong Kong. We tell you how to choose, how to apply, how to pay.

  • The Good Schools Guide International

    Corona Virus As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, The Good Schools Guide International offers the following guidance:  Determine the global situation and that of individual countries on government mandated school closures by accessing the UNESCO information on this link:   For updates on the medical situation, go to  the World Health Organisation website at  If you wish to contact one of our GSGI listed schools to discover their current status or any plans for alternate learning strategies, please go to our database to find email and phone numbers for each school If your company makes you brexit, The GSGI should be your first…

  • Schools for children with performing arts talents

    At specialist music, dance or performing arts schools, the arts aren't optional extras. They’re intrinsic to the school curriculum. Students are expected to fit in high level training and hours of practice alongside a full academic provision. It's a lot to ask any child to take on, but for those with exceptional performing ability this kind of education can be transformative.

  • Finding a state grammar school

      There are currently around 163 state funded grammar schools located in 36 English local authorities, with around 167,000 pupils between them. There are a further 69 grammar schools in Northern Ireland, but none in Wales or Scotland. Almost half of these are in what are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston, with only a few grammar schools. How to find a state grammar school Word of warning: not all selective grammar schools have…

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
 Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
 Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
 Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

The Good Schools Guide subscription

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

The Good Schools Guide manifesto for parents