Brac high school makes grade but primaries fail

| 16/09/2015 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service

Layman Scott High School, Cayman Brac

(CNS): The Layman Scott High School on Cayman Brac is the only high school in the Cayman Islands to receive a ‘good’ rating in its baseline inspection report. The only other school to make the same grade was Prospect Primary on Grand Cayman. But despite the ‘good’ grade for the Sister Islands secondary school, both of the island’s primary schools were given an ‘unsatisfactory’ grade by the inspectors, even though they have a higher percentage of students achieving expected standards than many of the primary schools on Grand Cayman.

Some unique challenges were identified for the Sister Islands schools, where classes are small and children are in some cases excelling. But the inspectors pointed to the significant numbers of students with special educational needs who, the report said, were not being adequately supported. At Creek and Spot Bay Primary School well over one third of the students are on the SEN register. The school has 80 students and 30 of them have special education needs.

“One of the factors contributing to low achievement is the lack of consistent support for the relatively large proportion of students who are on the special needs register. Within the school, there are not enough teaching assistants and, although there is a special education needs co-ordinator, her time is limited as she is shared with another school,” the inspectors said.

Meanwhile, at West End Primary a succession of acting principals has contributed to problems at that school, the inspectors said. With no clear management structure within the school, the acting principal, who has only been in post since last September, is doing many other jobs. As well as filling in for absent teachers, she is also driving the school bus.

The inspectors pointed to low attainment levels and under-achieving at West End. “Cognitive abilities tests, which provide teachers with an estimate of the standard of which students are capable, suggest that there is much under-achievement, particularly in mathematics,” the report found. However, the school was praised for the progress kids make in Year six before they headed to the high school.

As a result it appears that Layman Scott High is expanding on that development. The inspectors graded the school  as ‘good’ and said it was  “successful in achieving its aim of enabling students to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy society and a prosperous and sustainable economy.”

Although inspectors raised some concerns about the data on students with SEN, making it difficult to judge their progress, it said the school has been aware of its strengths and taken steps to address its weaknesses.

“Improvements in teaching, students’ attitudes and parents’ participation have each contributed to the progress in academic achievement. Staff set a high example, students’ behaviour is good and there are strong links with the island community. The size of the school has not limited the breadth of the curriculum, and the needs of Year 12 students are met well,” the inspectors said.

From 2010 to 2014 the proportion of students achieving at least five passes in external exams, such as CXC and GCSE, has increased from 65% to 85%, and those including English and mathematics from 50% to 85%. Meanwhile, in direct comparison, at John Gray High School just 27% students achieved the same level and 35% at Clifton Hunter.

See all three baseline inspection reports for all government schools in the Cayman Islands

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Category: Education, Local News

Comments (24)

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  1. AGS says:

    It sounds really bad when you say Layman Scott High School has 85 percent compared to CHHS and JGHS has only 35 and 27 percent respectively but how many students attend LSHS compared to the other two schools? If there are 200 year 11 students in JGHS and 27 percent is 54 students whereas you have 30 year 11 students at LSHS, 85 percent is 26 students. 30 compared to 200!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    2:56……You all were happy to accept our help from Brackers after Ivan???? How soon we forget. I am sure your places in Cayman are all perfect little nervanas and paradises too? Have you all driven on top of the Bluff lately??? There are very nice homes, facilities up there. 2:56 where have you been? Have you not read that we are moving lots of our infrastructure on top of the Bluff in case of future hurricanes? How about the names down there? Have you not heard that the people running everything in Cayman is from up ya in the east? Sure thing. Word on the street has it that Brackers are brainy and know what to do. I would suggest you move there and see how much happier you would be. Less traffic!!!!! Friendly people!!!! Get it??? Quality not quantity!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes Brackers are running the show in Cayman but my what a mess every ministry is in.

  3. Anonymous says:

    1. The children can’t vote and neither MLA’s have children in school. 2. The higher ups in the school system are just waiting for retirement.

    My child is one of those with Special Needs. He has received no services whatsoever for 2 years. I will soon have to move to Grand Cayman. Other families have moved to Grand Cayman or to the USA so that their children needs are met. Why should Caymanians have to move to other countries to get assistance when they can give us the assistance that we need here but the Education Department just don’t want to give it?

    When you ask for assistance, they give you the runaround. You end up calling five people and still no one can assist.

    • Anonymous says:

      So move. It might sound harsh but you can’t expect government to supply everything.

      • Anonymous says:

        We’re asking for the basic services for our children which is what your children are getting. So in other words, long as Cayman gets it’s okay but our children must suffer. You didn’t mind sending your children to Cayman Brac after Ivan though. That’s why Cayman is having all of the problems you all are having. You treat your fellowman like crap. I just met a man a few days ago who came from Cayman and was so surprised how good Brackers treat him. Remember “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” How you would feel if it was your child?

  4. Anonymous says:

    What are the results for year 11 2015?

  5. anonymous says:

    When was that inspection done? Was it within the last 6 months or ws it older?

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is clear that there is no political will to fund Public Education especially in the Brac so MLS’s be forewarned… it is time to get past your small but loud and racially motivated constituents and combine the primary schools.

  7. Rp says:

    30/80, almost 40 percent of local school students suffering from learning disabilities without support. Is this what is happening here in Grand Cayman which results in poor literacy and Maths performance discussed in a number of news articles over the last couple of weeks?

    Kids seem to leave school without basic literacy skills (as it was outlined by Tara), skills which, in my opinion, should be mastered by say, grade 8. Could it be that 40 percent of students have learning disabilities on Grand Cayman as well. This could explain Tara’s issue better than just blaming the teachers?

    What percent of public school students are considered having learning disabilities? CNS, any stats or articles on this topic previously published?

    Could this be the reason young graduates have the highest unemployment rate among unemployed?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Proud parents LSHS

  9. Anonymous says:

    And what happened to the principal of JGHS ( who definitely did not have to drive a school bus)?.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The report sounded all good until I read “the needs of Year 12 students are met well”. Perhaps the inspectors do not know how many of the current Year 12 students have had to relocate to Grand Cayman for their studies.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:47: How many? While you are it, please provide some specific statistics, like how many have relocated to pursue A level at 6th form schools and how many personally chose to move to UCCI Grand Cayman. Of interest would be the total in the cohort and how many of that total still remains on the Brac at the school. The report addressed the provisions for those who were enrolled at the time. Now are you referring to that group or the new group of Year 12? Finally, how did you gather your data and arrived at your conclusion?

  11. Principal Needs says:

    It is simply ridiculous that Mose and Juju still perpetuate the existence and expense of separate primary school sites. The Brac needs only the Creek facility (which is clearly an adequate and well provided for primary school). Close Spot Bay and West End immediately and stop this unnecessary pandering to historical district segregation.

    • Anonymous says:

      The more important point is that if something positive does not happen in Cayman Brac there will be almost no need for schools at all. If the economic and population decline continues there will soon only be need for a small 1 room all age school if that. Rather than thinking of shuttering schools and shrinking the economy faster thought needs to be put into reversing the downward spiral.

      • Long Haul Bracker says:

        Even if you quadrupled the Brac’s population you would still only need one primary school.

        As for the economy, you’ll just have to wait until the sea level rises another 30ft and Grand Cayman goes under.

        Brac’s time soon come!

        • Anonymous says:

          You do know that if the sea level was to rise just 10 feet most of Grand Cayman would be under water?

          • Mt. Everlast says:

            I do. I also know that no one will move to the Brac until the last habitable outcrop on GCM goes under.

            So take heart. Your future is very bright, unless you don’t stop quarrying the Bluff down to a nub………

          • Anonymous says:

            And Creek school!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Based on my last several visits to Brac it looks to be on the verge of becoming a ghost town. Government just needs to close it down. It is only using money that could be better spent in Grand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear, Hear!.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us all start driving 8 and 10 miles to take our children to school. Your comment is full of false information. Creek school site is actually an illegal facility because it does not have appropriate accessibility for fire and emergency services. Further, it is in a valley/gully (call it what you want); how would that site look after a small tidal surge? There is no proper school hall for assemblies or other such activities and the site is simply put, “poorly laid out.”

      The truth is Moses (not sure about Ms. Julie) has been working on a solution and what we have is what the people want!

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