Ed ministry rolls out new inspection framework

| 27/06/2018 | 20 Comments

(CNS): All schools in the Cayman Islands, including non-government institutions, will be measured under new standards from the start of the new academic year in September, education officials have said. The Office of Educational Standards has published a framework document, “Successful Schools and Achieving Students“, which sets out the new standards and serves as a self-evaluation tool for schools to assess their own attainment. Developed by the office director, Peter Carpenter, it will measure schools in six areas: student achievement, personal and social development, student support, health and safety, effective teaching, curriculum and school leadership.

Drawing on prior efforts of past educators and inspectors and recent consultations with a wide array of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Education, Education Council, principals, school administrators, teachers, parents and the public, the evaluations are based on a four-point scale. Progress at schools will be measured as excellent, good, satisfactory or weak. Each category is broken down so school leaders know that excellent means exceptionally high quality of performance or practice while at the bottom end weak would suggest the quality of the six areas is not yet at the level required for local schools.

Those institutions measured as weak will be expected to take urgent measures to improve the quality of any aspect of their performance or practice that is judged at this level.

“Until now, there has been no explicit guide that has directed schools to the features of excellence,” said Carpenter about his framework. “Now everyone is on the same page, and the framework is readily available for all to see. I was pleased to see that West End Primary School’s principal, April Tibbetts, used the ‘Successful Schools and Achieving Students’ framework this year and, in fact, the school was able to demonstrate the impact that good self-evaluation can have on school improvement.”

Tibbetts said the school staff used the self-evaluation framework for reflection in the final term of this academic year. She found the document provided clear indicators for each level of practice.

“We were able to rate our school’s current practice as well as identify areas for improvement that could raise our school performance level,” she said. “Having used this tool in our evaluation, we had a good understanding of what inspectors were looking for and the rating scale they use. We have several actions for the 2018-19 school year that come directly from our self-evaluation and the framework document. We truly appreciate the resource and strive for excellence in the future.”

Chair of the Education Council, Dan Scott, thanked the education standards office for the framework and offered his support for it, as he said the board believed it is a beneficial tool for progressing education in the Cayman Islands.

Read the full framework in the CNS Library

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Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Just shut them all down and start afresh.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why not just engage the Independent Schools Inspectorate in the U.K. It is relevant, long established, and highly respected body. No need to reinvent the wheel or to have standards which are indepnendent from any international benchmark.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Legalize pot, use the money to inject funds into schools. Free advice, save your money.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Public schools are a very real reflection of society and the fact that there’s people who still think teachers should have this magical ability to allow kids to overlook their living environment is mind boggling. The schools don’t need fixing as much as the horrible parenting some of these kids receive. Assess and evaluate that, tell parents where they are going wrong and make them fix themselves, everything will fall in place afterwards.

    • Anonymous says:


      Lucky enough to have good parents? You’ll succeed, be it at public or private schools.

      Have non-existent parenting, or 3rd or 4th generation education denialists as family, then it’s uphill for you.

      Stuck in a class with some kids with zero social skills and boundaries? Grin and bear it, because there’s still nothing in place to deal with this sizeable minority.

      There are some terrible teachers for sure, there are some great teachers. Can the standard be brought up? Yes, but recruitment by a misfiring department is very hit and miss, then the key is RETENTION of good staff. This is where we enter crazy land. Amazing teachers are disillusioned and leave due to shabby contracts or squabbles with established, usually mediocre, staff members who have been present for years. This staff turnover then disrupts for a long time. Colleagues picking up the slack, kids not sure who they will have from one term to the next, replacement staff appointed who may not be what is best, but what is available.

      We don’t need inspections to tell us what is wrong. It is obvious what is wrong, just that nothing ever changes here. Ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Teachers are not social workers. They cannot hope to overcome the issues they are faced with in the classroom. You hire them from Third World countries and expect them to deliver a first class education. It aint going to happen.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bit suspect that the WEPS got to use this first. The principal’s husband is on the education council. Why was her school chosen to be the first to roll it out. Nepotism at its finest and best.

    CNS: You’re assuming that this was a privilege, but there doesn’t seem to be any particular honour or benefit in it. Being the guinea pig for a programme is often hard work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Her husband is not a member of education council.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mrs. Tibbetts husband has not been on the council for many years.

    • Anon. says:

      Do a little research before you spout out inaccurate information.
      Her husband is not currently in the Education Council and even if he was you besmirch his integrity by assuming that any decision made by the Council that involves any family member is automatically nepotism.
      Quite ignorant!

      Also being the guinea pig is not always a good thing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    An inspection regime that is based on a discredit UK system is not about to be the savior of our schools. A punitive inspection regime does not improve teaching in the classroom. Also could someone please explain to the inspectorate that their narrow version of what differentiation has no sound basis in research.

  7. Tut alors!. says:

    If these inspections are conducted like the performance appraisal reports in the Civil Service, they won’t be worth the paper they are written on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an idea, why don’t we consult a country that has off the chain school results that are not exaggerated or faked and ask them to show us how it is done. Have a fresh set of eyes looking at things and have them say here and here is good, there and there needs improvement and that and that needs to be replaced with this. Instead we have Ministry of Education, Education Council (both in it for the money), principals, school administrators, teachers (three who want the best, probably know how to improve things but have their hands tied by the first two), parents and the public (two that want the best for their children, have no idea how to get it but want it yesterday and blame the previous group for the failings of the first.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Here is an idea; stop allowing the Education Council dictate what happens in education since they know nothing about it, stop allowing the Minister of Education who worked for two years thirty years ago in a school on the Brac to allow the education agenda to be driven by her religious beliefs and out of date practices, stop hiring people from third world countries, stop allowing poor performance, stop promoting poor teachers/heads to be promoted out of the classroom and into the higher echelons of the Department of Education. Just stop now and tell me how do you intend to have a world class education system with poor performers dotting the educational landscape.

      • Anonymous says:

        You nailed it 3:52.

        • Anonymous says:

          The Education Council is finally doing something. Many in the board are concerned, educated Caymanians, and are few are even in education, so kudos to them. We have to inspect what we expect……

  9. Anon says:

    About time. Can’t belive the amount of children who leave school unable to understand simple reading, writing and maths. As for history and geography- forget it!

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