***Editor’s Note: Due to the impact of COVID-19, the Office of Education Standards is conducting one-day ‘thematic visits’ to Cayman Islands schools in the Spring 2022 term in lieu of more in-depth inspections. (Click to expand.)
(Read our story on the decision here.) OES recently published the first batch of reports from these visits, which will eventually involve 31 government and private schools and culminate in a national report. The Current will publish a story on each individual school, as well as stories from a more comprehensive perspective.***
The new senior leadership team at Triple C School is aware it needs to strengthen processes and systems to improve the school, Office of Education Standards inspectors said.
Most of the staff at the private school in George Town had good reviews for support they have received from leaders and pastoral staff. This school year, attendance among students and staff had remained relatively high, according to a letter to Chief Administrative Officer Leonora Mendoza-Hydes from Chief Inspector Nicholas Sherriff and Senior Inspector Althea Edwards-Boothe.
“Senior leaders and staff exhibited a clear commitment towards maintaining a safe learning environment for staff and students and the continuity of learning for all students,” the inspectors said.
The visit occurred on 23 Feb. and the inspectors’ summary is dated 25 Feb.
“We did not find any significant concerns” during the school visit, they said.
Unlike full inspection reports, the inspectors do not assign graded judgments to schools as a result of the one-day visits. Inspectors conduct interviews with school leadership, teachers and administration, as well as reviewing documentation.
Triple C has new leadership in both school administration and governance.
“A new chair of the Board of Governors was recently appointed. The school board provided guidance to the senior leadership team and was mindful of its role in developing and updating school policies and leading educational provision. Consequently, there were plans to establish committees to provide targeted support to the school,” the inspectors said.
“A new senior leadership team was recently appointed. Leadership was aware of the need to strengthen planning processes, systems and teams to drive school improvement in a targeted manner. There was also the need for well-developed systems to guide staff and improve practice,” they said.
The school’s pastoral team was praised for its efforts but sometimes felt overwhelmed by the increase in students seeking support.
“The pastoral team demonstrated strong commitment to student care and a shared responsibility for students’ wellbeing. The pastoral team was complemented by an adjunct staff member who provided support at key points in the school year,” the inspectors said.
“The team reported an increased case load due to the number of students in the high school who required counselling support during the pandemic. They felt the increasing demands for support coupled with their regular workload was often too much for the small team.”
The inspectors said “a majority of staff spoke positively” about support from leadership and the pastoral team.
The school had put into place public health measures to protect against COVID, including mask-wearing, hand sanitising, social distancing, extended hours for regular cleaning staff, and deep cleanings during school breaks.
Overall, student attendance averaged in the “mid-90s” this school year. Staff also missed relatively fewer days than in other schools.
“Although Covid-19 absences were marginally lower than most schools, a majority of staff reported carrying a significant workload including providing cover for other colleagues,” the inspectors said.
Assessments indicated that most students were making acceptable progress in learning.
“Planned interventions such as early morning classes and an after school club were used to support students with knowledge gaps or who required additional support in their learning,” the inspectors said.