***Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of stories analysing the Education Data Report 2021.***
Cayman Islands students with potential or verified Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) performed significantly worse on Year 11 exams in 2021 than their peers.
Public school students who had progressed to the final Phase 3 of the SEND process (having a verified education disability and receiving support from outside the school) had a higher pass rate in English, Maths and Science than students who were in Phase 2 (receiving school-based support), according to statistics in the Education Data Report 2021.
Additionally, Phase 3 students had a slightly higher pass rate in Maths than students in Phase 1 (who are being monitored for potential SEND).
In fact, of the students who had entered the SEND process, the only students to earn the highest grades of A or A* on exams were in Phase 3.
Public schools evaluate students for SEND and proceed along 3 phases.
- Phase 1 – Early Screening and Progress Monitoring: Students receive additional support, primarily from the classroom teacher.
- Phase 2 – School-Based Support Team Individual Intervention Plans: Similar to Phase 1, but with alternative strategies, and increased intensity and frequency of interventions.
- Phase 3 – SEND Eligibility and Individual Education Plans: Verified education disability, receive support from outside the school, monitored on official SEND Register maintained by the Department of Education Services.
The report also includes information on a relative handful of students (8 out of the group of 454) who are non-native speakers of the English language — aka ‘English as Second Language’.
According to the report, 13% of the Year 11 cohort required Phase 3 SEND services, which "is on-par with international norms. According to the National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES), this figure stands at approximately 14%."
The year before, 8% of the previous Year 11 group were receiving Phase 3 SEND services.
Student performance by SEND status
About 76% of the 454 Year 11 students have no SEND, 6% are in Phase 1, 3% in Phase 2 and 13% in Phase 3.
Overall, students with no SEND had a 77% pass rate in English, 50% in Maths and 72% in Science, i.e. receiving a C grade or better.
Phase 1 students had a 54% pass rate in English, 21% in Maths and 57% in Science.
Phase 2 students had a 27% pass rate in English, 0% in Maths and 7% in Science.
Phase 3 students had a 28% pass rate in English, 24% in Maths and 40% in Science.