Data Report 2020: Year 11 exam scores improve at all high schools

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Cayman Islands Year 11 public school students achieved their best-ever results on standardised exams in 2020, with Layman Scott High School setting the benchmark and scores jumping at both of Grand Cayman’s secondary schools.

The results are contained in the Education Data Report 2020, which has been posted on the Department of Education Service‘s website.

This is the first in a planned series of stories analysing the Data Report.

In November 2020, the Cayman Current published a series analysing the results of the 2020 CSEC examinations. However, the new Data Report includes other types of information on schools, including at the primary level.

The report breaks out the exam performance by school, showing that 76% of Layman Scott students met the ‘national expectation’ on exams, meaning they achieved 5 or more Level 2 passes, including in English and Mathematics.

For Clifton Hunter High School the pass rate was 56%, and for John Gray High School the pass rate was 53%.

Overall the 2020 results are a significant jump, following years of slow but steady increase, or even stagnation.

From 2011 to 2015, the national pass rate increased from 18% to 38%, but in recent years hovered around 40%.

The national pass rate in 2020 is a 17-point increase over the pass rate in 2019.

The Data Report notes that the Covid-19 pandemic caused changes to how the exams were administered, and cautions that the results may need to be taken with a grain of salt.

“It is unclear whether differences should be attributed to changes in the underlying student performances or to the changes in the approach to assessment taken by the various examining Boards to award grades,” according to the report.

“Comparative analyses with respect to year-on-year system improvement should be viewed by readers with some degree of caution, especially in cases where the data and associated interpretations and inferences are used to influence policy creation and development.”

Exam results for individual schools are available starting in 2015. Since that time, Layman Scott has beat the national average by anywhere from 15 to 41 points.

While Clifton Hunter has maintained a 2- to 7- point edge over John Gray each year, the scores at the two Grand Cayman high schools largely track one another.

Read our November 2020 reporting on CSEC exams:

CXC results: Key takeaways and graphic roundup

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