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The Education Law (2016) requires the regular inspection of public and private educational institutions on The Cayman Islands. The law places responsibility for inspection upon the Office of Education Standards within the Cayman Islands Government. Inspections are undertaken in;

  • All institutions catering for the care and education of pre-school children;
  • All primary and secondary government schools, including special and further education provision;
  • All primary and secondary assisted (private) schools;
  • All independent schools;
  • Post-secondary education provision including A-Level courses and the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre.

Different inspections for different purposes

The Office of Education Standards will undertake a range of different types of inspections.

Regular inspections to primary and secondary schools, including secondary schools that provide for students up to age 18 years.

These cover the quality and effectiveness of the school’s provision for, and practice in, the areas included within ‘Successful Schools and Achieving Students’.

Timing: Currently, at least once every four years as required by Education Law (2016).

Duration: Dependent upon the size of the school but, on average, four days.

Follow-Through Inspections

These inspections assess the school’s progress in addressing the recommendations from a previous inspection.

Timing: Approximately six months after an inspection and continued from then until all identified areas for improvement have been satisfactorily addressed.

Duration: Generally two or three days, depending upon the nature of the recommendations made in the previous report.

Inspection of provision for children attending Early Childhood Care and Education Centres

These visits follow the same general pattern as primary and secondary schools, but reference the Cayman Islands Early Years Curriculum and Ministry of Education Guidance for Early Years settings.

These inspections may also be followed by a ‘Follow-Through” Inspection, approximately six months after the initial visit.

Timing: Currently, at least once every four years as required by Education Law (2016).

Duration: Usually two to three days, depending upon the age range of children catered for and the number on roll.

Focused or thematic inspections

This type of inspection may be required in response to Ministerial directives to inform policy and practice across The Cayman Islands. It may focus on a particular aspect of education provision or outcomes and may be carried out across a number of schools.

Timing: As required.

Duration: One to three days, depending on the area of focus and the number of schools involved.

Evaluations and quantative terms

Inspectors make evaluations using a four-point scale. The four levels on the scale are defined as follows:

  • Excellent – exceptionally high quality of performance or practice.
  • Good – the expected level for every school in The Cayman Islands, both public and private.
  • Satisfactory – the minimum level of quality required for The Cayman Islands. All key aspects of performance and practice in every school should meet or exceed this level.
  • Weak – quality not yet at the level acceptable for schools in The Cayman Islands. Schools 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.

Quantitative terms are used during inspections with the following definitions;

Definition Numerical
All The whole – as used in referring to quantity, extent, or duration. 100%
Almost all 90% and more 90% to 99%
Most Three quarters or more but less than 90% 75% to 89%
Majority Half or more but less than three quarters 50% to 74%
Minority 15% or more but less than half 15% to 49%
Few Up to 15% 0% to 14%

Code of Conduct for Inspectors

The Office of Education Standards publishes a code of conduct which applies to all staff employed within the team. The code is applicable in all contexts and to all personnel.

For example, visiting and island based Associate Inspectors, who join teams from time to time are required to undertake their duties in a manner that is consistent with the Office of Education Standards Code of Conduct.

A number of key elements of the Code of Conduct are detailed below and the full document is accessible following this link.

Inspectors must not only arrive at fair and accurate judgements about schools, but they must also conduct inspections professionally. Any assessment of professional competence can cause anxiety, and inspection is no exception to this. Inspectors will treat all the people they encounter as part of the inspection process with interest, courtesy and respect. Our right of entry into schools is a privilege.

Inspectors will uphold the highest professional standards in their work and ensure that staff and students are treated fairly and that schools benefit from the experience of inspection. The process will be transparent and carried out openly with the results clearly communicated to all relevant parties. The standards expected for inspectors are set out in the Office of Education ‘Code of Conduct for Inspectors’.

School inspectors are expected to:

  • Evaluate objectively and impartially, ensuring that judgements are accurate and based on sufficient and reliable evidence;
  • Carry out their work with integrity, treating all those they meet with courtesy and sensitivity;
  • Act with the best interests and well-being of students and school staff in mind;
  • Maintain purposeful and productive relationships and dialogue with all involved in the inspection;
  • Communicate judgements clearly and frankly;
  • Respect the confidentiality of information, particularly about individuals and their work;
  • Present an accurate, honest, fair and reliable report of what the school achieves and does.

Effective inspections are those which schools regard as fair, rigorous and helpful and take account of the school’s self-evaluation. If schools respect and value the quality of inspections, they will be more likely to accept and make use of the findings to help them improve.

Last Updated 2018-08-10