Training resumes for school inspectors

Chief Inspector of Schools Mrs. Helena McVeigh and Senior Inspector Mr. Steve Crowley were recently on Cayman Brac to present two days of coaching to nine local occasional inspectors.

‘We always try to include at least one local occasional inspector on our teams,’ Mrs. McVeigh said in a press release from Government Information Services

‘The presence of local inspectors, who are all current or ex-teachers in Cayman schools, helps to strengthen the inspection team’s understanding of the context in which schools operate,’ she said.

‘Local inspectors have an invaluable and up-to-date knowledge of our curriculum and current practice.’

Deputy Permanent Secretary for Education, Mrs. Mary Rodrigue, said she was very pleased the Inspectorate was able to continue the training, despite the impact of Ivan. She noted that local occasional inspectors play a crucial role in the assessment model, not just for their contributions to inspections but for the impact they can have on improvements within their own schools, the release said.

Participants said the training was a positive experience: ‘Being with my fellow professionals, hearing different views and approaches in doing an inspector’s job was inspiring,’ said West End Primary School teacher Sedonnie Dias.

A recruitment drive for new local inspectors began in February 2004. Each candidate went through a rigorous process of written applications, interviews and presentations. Twelve trainees were selected for 2004-05 – six each from Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman.

The programme comprises both distance learning and taught sessions; all 12 trainees had successfully completed Module 1 and were planning to attend the first of two taught days at the Schools’ Inspectorate offices on 10 September. However, Hurricane Ivan intervened and the training was temporarily put on hold.

Following the latest training session, the programme will continue in May at the Teachers’ Centre on Cayman Brac, with further training on Grand Cayman in the fall.

Current participants include Clive Baker and Susan Bush, Cayman Brac High School; Natasha Chopra, Cayman Prep School; Sedonnie Dias, West End Primary School; Tammy Da Costa, Principal, Creek and Spot Bay Infant School; June Elliot, George Hicks High School; Jennifer Paul O’Donnell, Principal, St. Ignatius Prep School; Edna Platts, retired teacher from Cayman Brac High School; and Shirley Wahler, Principal, Cayman Brac High School.

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