Lighthouse School inspected

The Lighthouse School is the only special school in the Cayman Islands. It caters for students between the ages of four and 18 years, from across Grand Cayman, who have a very wide range of complex educational and physical needs.

At the time of the inspection, there were 61 students at the school. The inspection took place from 5 to 7 June 2006 and involved a team of four inspectors, plus a trainee local occasional inspector, said a Ministry of Education press release.

The inspection team was led by Steve Crowley a member of the Schools’ inspectorate for five years. He and another member of the team, Andrew Littlewood, had been involved in a previous developmental review of the school in 2003.

The inspection team reported that the Lighthouse is a very good school, which has made outstanding progress over the last three years. The report noted that the achievement is all the more remarkable given that the school was closed for nearly two months after suffering damage from Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.

The inspection team judged that, given the commitment of the leadership and staff, the school has the capacity to maintain this high standard and to continue to improve even further.

The inspection report identifies the following areas as strengths of the school:

The students enjoy their time at Lighthouse. They are keen to learn and make very good progress.

Overall, the quality of teaching and learning is very good.

There is a very positive ethos. Relationships in the school are excellent and the students behave very well.

The students are treated with dignity and respect; their personal development is very good.

he school is very well led and managed. The staff work together as an effective team.

The school makes consistent and effective use of communication systems, such as signing.

The provision for language arts, mathematics and ICT is good.

The inspection team identified few areas for improvement. The ones that were considered to be the most significant are:

The quality of teaching and learning for students who have the most difficulty learning and for those who are the most cognitively able.

The sharing of management responsibilities among the staff, as currently too much is undertaken by the principal and deputy.

The areas for improvement listed above will form the basis of the school’s action plan, which should be sent to the Education Department and Schools’ Inspectorate within 40 working days of receipt of the final report.

The school is required to provide parents with an annual update on the progress that is being made in addressing these areas for improvement.

FYI

The inspection report can be found on the Schools’ Inspectorate’s website: www.italic.ky/lv/inspect/school.nsf

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