Private SEN school ‘weak’ say inspectors

| 09/02/2021 | 38 Comments
Cayman News Service
Carrie Patraulea, director of the Cayman Learning Centre

(CNS): A private sector specialist school touting itself as offering “excellent instruction” and an “excellent reputation” was found to be ‘weak’ in the majority of quality indicators measured by school inspectors. The Cayman Learning Centre offers classes and tuition for children who need additional learning support but also has a full time special needs school with ten children.

The overall performance of this specialist fee-paying school in Pasadora Place in George Town was rated poorly, with not a single area judged better than ‘satisfactory’.

Even with very small classes and qualified teachers, the students’ attainment and progress in English, mathematics and science were rated ‘weak’ and writing skill were well below age expectancy for the small group of students, who ranged in age from ten to 14 years old.

“Learning and assessment were judged as weak. Other key areas were judged as weak, including curriculum, leadership and self-evaluation and improvement planning,” inspector said in their report published last month.

“The school had not placed sufficient focus on the planned and delivered curriculum to build in all the necessary learning experiences to promote students’ knowledge and understanding, skills and competencies in all areas of their learning.”

Students’ behaviour for learning, civic and environmental understanding, teaching quality, health and safety, and support and guidance were judged to be ‘satisfactory’.

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Category: Education, Local News, Politics, Private Sector Oversight

Comments (38)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Schools inspectorate give a public school a failing grade we praise them. Schools inspectorate give a private school a failing grade we excoriate them. Perhaps says more about our biases than about the school inspectorate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    My niece and a friend’s son, coincidentally born the same year and month, were diagnosed with dyslexia in elementary school. One attended a public school and another a Montessory school. But parents knew way before that something wasn’t right.

    Both kids had attended a public, State run summer school for kids with dyslexia.

    Today, one is pursuing career in Aircraft Mechanics, attends college and works in Aircraft Maintenance company. He competed flight training requirements for a small craft private pilot. The girl is pursuing career in speech therapy.

    This example demonstrates crucial importance of an early intervening system for young children at-risk for Learning Disabilities on a national level.

  3. Anon says:

    This school charges about $4500 per month for a full time student and they are worth every penny!

  4. Rp says:

    My son attended CLC for a year and a half. Prior to being enrolled there he was achieving C and Ds and failing subjects due to his language processing disorder. Furthermore he wasnt able to communicate with other teens and had no social life. Clc placed him on Aerosmith and Linda mood bell programs and within 18 months he is now enrolled in a main stream school on island, achieving As and Bs and is socially active making friends and being a teen. Thank you clc for changing my son’s life. These inspectors are clueless as to the level of eduction you provide to our children!

  5. Anonymous says:

    These inspectors are simply giving these mediocre grades to feel as though they are meaningful in doing their jobs.

    • Totally agree, the education inspectors in cayman need to be replaced as they are the typical overseas consultants who aim to build empires for themselves in our government. They have done nothing to add value to the education system in cayman.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Big Poppa you hit the nail on its head for certain. “Those who can, teach – those who can’t, inspect.”

    This should be put over the outside door of the Inspection Unit.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Very sad!!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Department of education yet again proving that they have no idea what they’re doing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I bet the school will make a statement soon because there appears to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what this school is.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I would value the opinion of parents with children at this school more than the inspectors. I applaud SEN educators who think outside the box and perhaps that is why CLC doesn’t score well on what I imagine is a very standard set of criteria.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Who was evaluating this school? This is not a regular school, the way I understand.

    They’re are affiliated with Arrowsmith school in Toronto which is dedicated to helping students with specific learning difficulties.
    “ Each new student is assessed at Arrowsmith School so that we may identify his or her individual learning profile and then design a program of cognitive exercises for that student.
    Our program has been of benefit for students having difficulty with reading, writing and mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, problem solving, visual and auditory memory, non-verbal learning, attention, processing speed and dyslexia.”

    I don’t believe that regular ”inspectors” qualified to evaluate such a school. Only specialists from ArrowSmith school, who train and certify its teachers, design student-individualized programs can do that.

    In the absence of wide spread (and free) evaluation of caymanian children for learning disabilities, more schools like The Cayman Learning Center should be welcomed to Cayman.

    I believe Department of Education inspectors don’t have expertise to evaluate such schools and its students, for each student’ learning disability is unique, therefore his/her progress can’t be compared and must not be compared with other students.

    Where one can see the list of inspectors and their qualifications?

    • h says:

      The “inspectors” are not part of the Department of Education. They fall under Portfolio of the Civil Service

      • Anonymous says:

        If that’s true, it’s madness, 10:52. POCS doesn’t know jackshit about managing school inspections. Mind you, they don’t seem to know much about getting anything done in a timely, efficient and effective manner, despite having a huge number of civil servants in there. Everyone complains about them.

        • Anonymous says:

          100% correct @7:04. I and other civil servants agree completely with you.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you would rather have the DES inspecting themselves? Holy conflict of interest there. Inspection criteria and guidelines as well as training/ qualifications would almost certainly exist within this department as it would certainly be liable for reputation crushing reports like this one. Calling a spade a spade especially in the parenting choice/ private school arena is a dangerous game but has to be played. There are some terrible private schools in Cayman and if they don’t get held to account and improve or get shut down our children are lost! Clearly there are big problems at this school whether parents want to admit it or don’t know any better they are certainly being duped!

      • Anonymous says:

        From site
        “The Portfolio of the Civil Service (PCS) works with our partners on capabilities that enhance Human Resources, Management practices and performance in the Public Service, through provision of high quality policy advice, guidance and support, monitoring and reporting, and training and development services.

        I don’t see they provide schools inspection services.

    • Cayguy says:

      Yep, cookie cutter inspections from cookie cutters more than likely

  12. Anonymous says:

    A “school” with 14 kids is hardly a school.

    • Anonymous says:

      that is because you don’t understand what kind of school it is. It is for children with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities are NOT being addressed, and I doubt ever will be addressed on a higher level.
      If you don’t know what learning disabilities are, here is the list (not complete):
      • having difficulty with reading, writing and mathematics, comprehension, logical reasoning, problem solving, visual and auditory memory, non-verbal learning, attention, processing speed and dyslexia.

      I’ll bet that many people who can’t keep jobs in Cayman have learning disabilities. It could be evaluated and addressed, but appears that nobody cares. People with learning disabilities would rather quit a job than be called stupid.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m well-versed in learning disabilities, the requisite diagnostic tools and the need for individualized education plans for such students to see success. I agree that many with learning disabilities go undiagnosed and carry over into difficulties/failures in adult lives.

        Still maintain that 14 kids hardly make it a “school”.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, may be you’re right that this Center is not a school, therefore must be exempted from incompetent DoE “inspectors”.

          Success of such Centers is not measured in math or language grades, but in students becoming effective, confident and self-directed learners for life able to achieve their goals of academic and career success.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Are there not different yardsticks for a special needs school? It is unreasonable to expect the same level of attainment as “regular” schools but that doesn’t mean they are weak.

  14. Anonymous says:

    There are only 10 special needs children. Whether they are being being brought along as they should depends on each child’s situation. That they are not up with their age group doesn’t mean much.

  15. Anonymous says:

    They are affiliated with Arrowsmith School inToronto

    Toronto school is excellent. Strange that Cayman Learning Center is not keeping up with Toronto school standards.

    • Anonymous says:

      So the school inspectors are well versed in Arrowsmith and document their findings in regards to that curriculum? Something seems off to me…it’s an alternative education tutoring centre for special needs students…not a regular school.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I don’t agree. Politics in play here, my child has been tutored here for the past five years and while a lot of credit is to her ability the staff has been very professional and helpful. They do so many reviews that it borders on annoying so I know this review is not factual. Who is reviewing the reviewers?

    • Big Poppa says:

      Agreed. Those who can, teach – those who can’t, inspect.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you mean
        Those who cant, teach, those that cant teach, teach PE, those that cant teach PE, inspect.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nasty comment 12:46.

        • Anonymous says:

          Here in the Caymans, it’s “ Those who can, teach. Those who can’t are promoted to leadership positions and/or cushy jobs for life in the Ministry”

          • Anonymous says:

            Its scarily true that. Look at Juju and her teaching background, look at the CEO of the Ministry of Education. I Cayman being a member of a particular church, having family in high positions, or being from particular families merit promotion over ability, Its so sad because it is the future of the children that is at stake. Just take a look at the number of teachers in Cayman who are wholly incapable of teaching, are moved constantly because of child protection issues, and still end up back in our schools in quick time.

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