Note: A previous version of this story appeared in Friday’s Compass. The school in the inspection report was misidentified.
A newly published report says Cayman Prep and High School “performs well in all major aspects of its work”.
The Office of Education Standards rated the private school, which serves students from kindergarten to Year 13, as ‘good’ overall on a scale that ranges from weak to excellent. The school was assessed as being either good or excellent in nearly every category inspectors looked at, with only two categories receiving a rating of satisfactory.
“There were no weak areas of performance identified in the school,” the report’s summary said. “Students’ progress in key subjects, leadership, self-evaluation and improvement planning were evaluated as good rather than excellent because certain aspects require further development.”
Some of the areas highlighted as excellent included:
- Performance in English in years 7-13 and in science in years 10-11;
- Personal and social development at all class levels;
- Teaching and learning in years 7-13;
- Curriculum quality in years 12-13; and
- Support and guidance in years 7-13.
Inspectors also saw areas that needed improvement. Officials, the report said, “should review assessment systems across the school to help monitor students’ progress more effectively, particularly in the primary and early secondary stages”. Assessment for students in years 4-11 was found to be only satisfactory. The school’s early years curriculum needs further development so that teaching is more effective. It called on the director and board of governors to continue efforts to gain international accreditation “to support the school’s ongoing drive towards excellence”.
The school’s director, Debra McLaughlin, said she and her staff were happy with the findings.
“We were very pleased our students, as they always do, displayed their excellent behaviour and their desire to learn,” McLaughlin said.
She said the school creates its own self-improvement plan every two years.
“They didn’t give us anything we weren’t already aware of,” she said. “Which means our own self-evaluation is strong.”
The report said, “Most students performed above national and international standards in external examinations” in English. Maths performance was similarly good at all levels. Performance in science was strongest in secondary, years 7-11, but still good in other years.
A survey of 415 parents found that 93 percent were satisfied with the quality of education their children were receiving. Six percent were not satisfied and 1 percent was unsure. The question receiving the most negative responses was one dealing with the quantity and amount of homework, which 17 percent of parents said was inappropriate.
There was no dissension among the 106 staff members that participated in the survey. All said the school provides a good education.
In a survey of 466 students, 32 percent said they did not feel the school listened to their concerns. A significant number, 28 percent, disagreed that they were given the right amount of homework. But 88 percent said they felt they were getting a good education.
McLaughlin is a member of the Education Council. She said she had argued that schools performing at a level higher than satisfactory should be able to go longer than the prescribed two years between inspections. Going through the process, she said, is stressful.
“There’s a strong feeling of pressure,” she said. “I saw that with staff.”
She said the school hopes to do even better on the next inspection.
“We want to see more ‘excellents’ in the different columns,” she said.
A copy of the full report can be found at www.oes.gov.ky.