Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts exploring the results of the first cycle of school inspections by the Cayman Islands Office of Education Standards.
Statistics released by the Office of Education Standards illustrate the extent to which the Cayman Islands education system is effectively segregated between Caymanian and non-Caymanian children.
In essence, Caymanian students tend to attend worse-performing schools with a greater concentration of Caymanians, whereas non-Caymanian students tend to attend better-performing schools with a greater concentration of non-Caymanians.
This aligns with the government’s policy of giving Caymanian students preference to attend free public schools, almost all of which failed to meet national standards (i.e. they have an OES rating of ‘Weak’ or ‘Satisfactory’).
The only public school rated ‘Good’ (meeting expected standards) is Lighthouse School, a specialised school serving students with moderate to profound special education needs.
|Key figures from OES data report 2020, Cayman Current analysis, Primary and Secondary Schools|
|Number of students||6,645||2,737||9,382|
|% of students||71%||29%||100%|
|In public school||67%||21%||54%|
|In private school||33%||79%||46%|
|Share of public school enrolment||89%||11%||100%|
|Share of private school enrolment||50%||50%||100%|
|In schools where >50% of students are Caymanian||96%||69%||87%|
|In schools rated 'Satisfactory' or 'Weak'||83%||47%||73%|
|In schools rated 'Weak'||26%||17%||23%|
- Public school enrolment is composed of about 90% Caymanian students, while private school enrolment is about 50% Caymanian.
- The overall school system is about 70% Caymanian.
- About two-thirds of Caymanian students attend public schools, while nearly 80% of non-Caymanians attend private schools.
- More than 95% of Caymanian students attend schools that are ‘majority Caymanian’ — i.e. where more than 50% of enrolment is Caymanian.
- Fewer than 70% of non-Caymanian students attend ‘majority Caymanian’ schools.
- More than 80% of Caymanian students attend schools that do not meet national standards.
- About 50% of non-Caymanian students attend schools that do not meet national standards.
There are 10,828 students in Cayman’s school system (public and private), including Early Childhood Care & Education Centres (ECCEs) that only have pre-Kindergarten students.
Apart from the government’s Cayman Brac Day Care Centre, all ECCE’s are privately run or not-for-profit.
Excluding ECCEs, 9,382 students attend primary or secondary schools.
This graphic below shows all 53 public and private schools in Cayman (including ECCEs), with enrolment numbers, % of Caymanian students, overall rating from OES, and links to full inspection reports.
According to inspectors, “In the 2019 Annual Report,‘Every School a Good School’, OES made a number of recommendations suggesting pathways to future success. There has been slow progress in addressing those recommendations.”