More families opting for private schools

More families opting for private schools

More parents in the Cayman Islands are opting to send their children to private schools, new statistics show. 

Both the Cayman International School and Triple C have added staff and classrooms after reporting record enrollment figures for the 2015/16 academic year. 

The figures follow a three-year trend of rising numbers at private schools and slightly declining enrollment at the islands’ public schools. 

According to data from government’s Economics and Statistics Office, overall enrollment in private schools rose by 280 from 2,787 at the start of the 2012/13 academic year to 3,067 at the start of the 2014/15 school year. During the same period, enrollment in government schools dropped from 4,956 to 4,739. 

Mable Richardson, head of Triple C, said the school had added mobile classrooms and converted part of the library into new classroom space to cope with the increase in numbers over the past few years. 

The Cayman International School has also expanded, adding six classrooms, two school support offices and upgrading the football pitch to accommodate its highest intake since 1994, when it was known as the Faulkner Academy. 

Leaders at both schools say the influx of new students is a mix of Caymanians and expatriates. 

Jeremy Moore, director of the international school, said new faculty and staff have been added to assist with the increase in students. Enrollment at the Cayman International School increased from 510 two years ago to 582 at the start of this school year. 

Mr. Moore said the school was “elite but not elitist” and catered to 30 different nationalities. 

Enrollment at Triple C is also on the increase at all age levels. Figures from the school show an increase from 350 in September 2012 to a record-breaking 425 this year. 

Ms. Richardson said new teachers and teaching assistants had been recruited. She said if the growth in demand continues, the school would have to look at restricting numbers. 

“We don’t want to become too big,” she added. 

Ms. Richardson, principal and chief administrative officer at the school, attributed the rise in numbers to the success of its students in exams and the quality of teaching. 

“It is like any other business,” she said. “Satisfied customers means repeat customers as well as new customers.” 

She said the school’s last few graduate classes had received more than $1 million in scholarships for further studies from the private sector. 

The school uses a U.S. curriculum and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Christian Schools International. 

A spokeswoman for Cayman International School, which is governed by the International Schools Service, said its new sports field was certified by world soccer governing body FIFA and would also be available for community use. 

Education Minister Tara Rivers declined to comment. 

The Economics and Statistics Office report says the increase in school numbers in 2014 coincided with an overall increase in the islands’ population in 2014. 

“The increase in enrollment is due to private schools which altogether registered a growth of 6.3 percent (or 181 students), while that of government schools fell by 2.0 percent (or 97 students),” it states. 

The Cayman International School added six classrooms this summer. - PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY
The Cayman International School added six classrooms this summer. – PHOTO: TANEOS RAMSAY


  1. It is a good thing if a parent can afford to send their children to a school where they feel they can receive a better education; however observing the behavior attitudes between both a private and public school children, there is much difference to be noted. The Private school children behave very uniformed, where the public school children behave street smart, but the street smart kids have good manners to people older than them by saying yes sir, yes maam, please and thank you. So we get six of one and half a dozen of the other. Let us always remember grandmothers teaching, respect and good manners will give you what money can’t buy.

  2. Perhaps the biggest problem facing our country is poor education. From this springs unemployment and crime.

    It is sad indeed when people vote with their dollars and pay the heavy extra cost of paying for an education for their Caymanian children.

    Remembering that foreign children, as a matter of law, MUST go to private schools.

    Whatever the governments budget I urge them to spend more on education at the expense of less vital activities, sports for example.

  3. I agree, I personally feel that my own education from the Government Schools have been very inadequate, even if this stemmed from my part or not.

    I personally do feel that the Government school system today is severely lacking.

    In the future, I too will plan on looking at the Private Schools on Island for my childrens education. I might have to take out a loan to afford it, but that is one sacrifice I am more than willing to take with no hesitation.

  4. This is no surprise at all, services provided by the private sector are always better than those provided by Government..And this is not just in Cayman..

    There’s also one other thing to consider is that Expats cannot send their kids to public schools in Cayman so their numbers include both Caymanian and expat Children.

    I’ve always felt this to be an issue because what happens is since Expats are forced to send their kids to private schools they end up with a better education than Caymanian children not to mention the fact that segregation and feelings of entitlement start from an early age.

    What the outcome of all of this will mean is that the children of expats will have a better education, be more sensitive to other cultures which means they will be better positioned to compete in the job market.