Inspectors: Prospect improves as Savannah struggles

| 19/03/2019 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service

Prospect Primary School

(CNS): Education inspectors have found that Prospect Primary School is improving, though it fell short of receiving a ‘good’ result because of a few areas that still need work, but Savannah Primary is still struggling. While Prospect was rated ‘satisfactory’ overall with many areas found to be ‘good’, Savannah was ‘weak’ in the majority of areas rated in the latest inspections. Both schools, which are located just a few miles apart in some of the fastest growing communities in Grand Cayman, were inspected last month with very different results.

Savannah Primary is the second largest primary school in the Cayman Islands with 451 students, around 20% of whom have been identified as having special educational needs. The inspectors from the Office of Education Standards also found that a number of students had been excluded because of challenging behaviour.

In the inspection survey only half of the teachers thought that the behaviour of students was ‘good’ and inspectors commented on the need for additional training for both teachers and teaching assistants to support students with behavioural challenges. They said that staff need to be more skilled in using appropriate behaviour management strategies for students with the most challenging issues.

Cayman News Service

Savannah Primary School

The inspectors outlined just a few strengths at Savannah Primary relating to civic and environmental awareness, health and safety, with good support from parents and local organisations, but they highlighted many areas for improvement, from the quality of teaching to the need for higher expectations of students.

“Across all quality indicators, a majority were judged to be weak,” the inspectors stated, including students’ attainment and progress in English, mathematics and science, and they noted a need to improve school leadership and self-evaluation.

Prospect Primary has 353 students with around 25% having special educational needs. Although the school’s overall rating was satisfactory, many areas were judged to be ‘good’ by the inspectors. They found that strengths at the school include the behaviour of students, who respect each other and work hard.

The curriculum is broad and balanced, while the school is safe and secure, with a principal who is passionate about improving students’ education and knows the school’s strengths and areas to improve very well. Inspectors said he had raised staff morale and won the support of students and parents.

“The school has improved over the past 18 months and has moved closer towards good overall effectiveness,” the report states. “The main areas which stopped the school from being good were the inconsistencies in teaching, learning and assessment, which had led to satisfactory attainment and progress, particularly in the key subjects.”

See the reports in the CNS Library

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Category: Education, Government oversight, Local News, Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Concern Parent says:

    Savannah School was one the best public school but since they have this present principal the school has dropped big time, This lady does not have the spark to manage this job, this kids need someone with good ideas, someone that cares about them, someone that can speak properly not just to receive the money at the end of the month. This school needs encouragement by someone with it. I am sure that it is a lot of enthusiastic people out here that can do this job better than this lady, It is nothing personal with her. If the head is not working nothing will.

    • Anonymous says:

      Using your logic there would not be a head left on island as all be Lighthouse are under performing big time. By the way the previous head at Savannah was woeful too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I know a teacher who works there. I also know they are an amazing teacher when they are allowed to be. They are let down by the poor running of the school by the Principal and the Government Ministry of Education. They don’t even get toilet breaks, let alone lunch breaks and are burnt out by the end of each term. Seven teachers were off sick on Monday from that school alone. Their profession and vocation is undermined by twats at the top who don’t understand the first thing about teaching children.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I believe that it was Benson Ebanks who told teachers that Cayman was affluent enough to be able to recruit the best teachers for our children. Undeniably we have some very good teachers but this tends to be the exception rather than the rule. What went wrong?

    • Anonymous says:

      Roy and Truman went wrong

    • Anonymous says:

      The people heading up both the Ministry and Department of Education have no leadership skills, were poor teachers themselves and people are given jobs based on patronage rather than merit. Also what do you expect when the HR department in Education undermine good practice in the hiring process and nothing is done about it even though its common knowledge. Well the lady is connected lets say!

    • Anonymous says:

      HR personnel who think that not having a basic maths gcse is no bar to working in Cayman, As long as you are connected and from the right church you will get a job.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Behavior and respect starts at home

    • Anonymous says:

      12.48pm… agreed but don’t forget the bully teachers. For some it just a job and don’t realize how important a job it is. And actually the just don’t care. Fact: We must get Caymanians back in charge.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have a teacher on Cayman Brac who has been promoted to deputy head. Non teaching job, seems better for students as she is a huge bully. But still best to get rid of teachers of such poor character. Now she just bullies staff….

        • Anonymous says:

          A failed teacher from the Brac was rehired for West Bay, when that proved a disaster she was moved to another school. It beggars the question what her connections are that keeping her in a job is more important than the education of our children.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are not enough Caymanians who want to be teachers. Jamaican teachers are hired with dubious qualifications with no experience of the public school system and with a deep rooted disrespect for our children. But don’t blame the teachers blame those hiring them in the first place. How can you expect to have world class teachers from a Third world country?

  5. Anonymous says:

    School are failing yet we just gave our teachers raises. In typical Caymanian fashion, throw money at the problem at hope it resolves itself

  6. Anonymous says:

    Whether it was Trinis, Jamaicans or Barbadians in charge the real issue is still the same, if the curriculum and new formats keep getting introduced ever so often via MoE how will management, teachers and students really truly be able to excel…the issues are not only with this school but with the entire education system!!


  7. Anonymous says:

    I went to Cayman thinking I could really help and I never expected to fall in love with it but I did and I tried every which way to be honorable and make a difference to the children of the Cayman Island. I touched some lives but the corrupt system never changed and when I realised that it never would I left. There have been many people like me who have left. Cayman keeps people who should be fired and “lets go” of people it should hold on to for dear life.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Nope she is on a jolly and probably going to bring back the mother of all solutions from a country of 60 million to a country of 60 thousand. Why are the SSIO’s not held accountable? Also why are useless teachers who have failed time and time again, allowed to continue to teach being moved from one school to another. Fix that problem right there and the Head Teachers may have a chance. Stop blaming Trinidadians. Oh while you are at it….do you know forget it. The things that matter most in Cayman is what church you belong to, what family you belong to, and never ever upsetting the apple card.

  9. Anonymous says:

    School performance starts at the top. Why are the top three from Trinidad? Coincidence?

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Ministry employs two highly paid ‘Senior Schools Improvement Officers’ and the schools are still failing to meet the UK’s minimum passing grade (good).

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes because the Senior Schools Improvement Officers(SSIO) become far too close to the Head Teachers. Also they are not experts in the running of schools or indeed in terms of pedagogy. As usual no one evaluates their effectiveness, CIG thinks by appointing someone to a post it will magically improve things. Very often that is not the case. In the first instance the people interviewing dont have the expertise to make an informed decision. Once the person arrives on island there is no effective way of monitoring their effectiveness. The way I see it a School Improvement Officer should be in essence a training arm for senior management to be upskilled through.In time they will appoint another layer of management to try to do the job that SSIO are incapable of doing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually three highly paid Senior Schools Improvement Officers. The whole SEN programme is in shambles and yet that person is allowed to continue.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Savannah needs better leadership. My child attends there and IT IS AWFUL. The kids have ZERO behavior or respect. The principal is LOST and I mean LOST LOST. The teachers are demotivated and frustrated because all the three Trinidadian Managers (Principal and two vice principals) say is THE MINISTRY THE MINISTRY. Let’s not talk about the communication factors because they DO NOT EXSIST. It makes no sense to call the Ministry (Ms Bell) SHE AND THE STOOGES come around when inspectors are coming to prep the students and teachers on what to do to impress these inspectors and THE SCHOOL STILL FAILED.

    The publis school system is failing the Caymanian children from primary school right back to high school. And then they say we as Caymanians are lazy and don’t have an education. Sigh!!!!!!

    I won’t even begin to ask where the “MINISTER IS”…… ohhh yea Cayman Brac high school not failing so we won’t hear from her.

    • Anonymous says:

      She is in the UK, looking to the failing mother country for ideas.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reports are no surprise. Nor will it be a surprise when no heads will roll. Firstly, get rid of SSIO’s as the post has not worked. Stop hiring from Third World Countries. Make teachers feel welcomed and valued rather than alienated, disempowered and undervalued. STOP looking for quick fixes. There are none. The worst mistake Cayman EVER made was undervaluing the expertise of Professor Frank Eade. Also outsource your hiring as the people who hire right not are not up to the job.

      • Anonymous says:

        He was not undervalued. He had free reign in implementing progressive math strategies. We are finding that they may not have worked.

    • Anonymous says:

      She is busy with other matters

      Auditor General Report ‘Political direction’ used in land purchases. House Speaker [Juliana O’Connor-Connolly] in ‘possible breach of trust’.

      “Former Cayman Islands Minister of District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture Juliana O’Connor-Connolly “directed” in 2012 that government funds should be used to buy a $125,000 property on Cayman Brac, the auditor general’s office reported Thursday.
      The purchase was made with “unspent funds” at the end of the government’s budget year.

      “The auditor general revealed in his report that Ms. O’Connor-Connolly somehow managed to spend $34,000 in hotel charges on Cayman Brac, where she lives and has a home. He also raised questions (and eyebrows) when he referred to Ms. O’Connor-Connolly’s now infamous trip to Qatar, entourage in tow, to attend a postal conference where Cayman received a bronze award for the excellence of its postal service.

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