Most teachers staying put

Schools in both the public and private sector have reported little turnover of teachers after the end the just-finished term, and little problem recruiting new teachers for the 2006/07 term.

There had been concerns that the high costs of living and the uncertainties around the seven-year term limit would drive larger numbers of teachers away.

Tom Lasley, business manager at Saint Ignatius High School, said the school had hardly lost any of its teachers.

‘We lost three or four for personal reasons,’ he said.

Saint Ignatius had no problem finding replacements for the few departing teachers.

‘[We’ve had] more applicants that we could possibly interview,’ Mr. Lasley said.

The situation was very much the same at the Cayman International School, according to Principal Greg Hedger.

‘We only had four people leave, which is not too bad,’ he said. ‘It’s what I’d expect to lose.’

The Cayman International School is scheduled to move into a new facility at Camana Bay in September, which will require even more teachers than it had last term. Mr. Hedger said the new facility will accommodate about 45 more students with the opening of the first phase of the school, which will require four or five new teachers for the fall.

There was no problem recruiting the new teachers and replacements for those that left, Mr. Hedger said.

‘We’ve hired everyone we need.’

Kerrie McMillian at Cayman Prep and High School reported the school had some turnover, but that it was just about in line with other years.

Hiring has gone fairly well at the school.

‘We’ve recruited all butone [of the openings], Mrs. McMillian said.

Teachers are coming to Cayman from places all over the world. Mrs. McMillian said there was a teacher hired from Guyana, one coming via Shanghai, and another coming from the Middle East.

Mr. Lasley reported a teacher coming here from as far away as Brunei to work at St. Ignatius.

While the high cost of living is a factor for teachers here, it doesn’t seem to concern some of the younger teachers, who are often just looking to spend a couple years here, Mr. Hedger said.

Mrs. McMillian said all incoming teachers are given an average breakdown of potential expenditures.

‘We encourage the younger ones to share [accommodations],’ she said.

The Government schools have not had tremendous turnover, either.

In response to a Parliamentary Question asked in the last meeting of the Legislative Assembly, Minister of Education Alden McLaughlin said that as of 28 April 2006, only 19 of 506 full and part-time teachers employed at Government schools had indicated they would not be returning to school in September 2006.

Mr. McLaughlin said that 10 of those teachers not returning were retiring, four had resigned and five had requested non-renewal at the end of their contract.

The number of non-returning teachers only represents 3.75 per cent of the total number of teachers in Government school.