Office of Education Standards Launches New Framework
Successful Schools and Achieving Students 2 – the latest publication from the Office of Education Standards (OES) – is now available online.
The document builds on the framework provided by the first iteration, published in June 2018, to evaluate school performance and as a tool for schools to self-evaluate. The new version will be used for the second cycle of inspections, beginning in January 2021.
Director of the OES, Peter Carpenter, explains: “The improvements made in this framework will help continue to raise standards across government and private schools and in early years centres.”
Following consultations with educators and other stakeholders between April and July 2020, over 200 contributors offered advice to OES about aspects of school inspections that were progressing well and areas requiring improvement. Feedback on the proposed framework was also given by the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education Services.
Remarking on these changes, the Minister for Education, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, says: “The Ministry remains committed to supporting all schools while they work assiduously to improve the quality of education provision in the Cayman Islands. I am confident that the improved framework provided by Successful Schools and Achieving Students 2 will allow our educational establishments to continue to deliver the highest standard of education for all students.”
The main changes to this latest school self-evaluation and inspection framework include the following:
• Inspectors will report on the progress made by different groups of students, including a specific focus on the achievement of Caymanian students, in all schools.
• ‘Excellent’ schools will be characterised by their active support and guidance to other educational institutions who are performing less effectively. For example, schools offering professional development opportunities and sharing resources will be recognised for their contribution to the improvement of educational provision.
• ‘Good’ and ‘excellent’ leaders will be those who have been ‘highly successful and innovative in improving students’ progress, teaching quality and other key aspects of the work of the school’. Inspectors will focus on leaders’ impact on their organisations, reporting on their success (or otherwise) in raising academic standards.
• Inspectors shall report on governance arrangements in both government and private schools recognising the important contribution that parents and other stakeholders can make to school leadership.
• The revised framework will provide more detailed exemplar materials outlining the characteristics of effective practice in early years’ contexts.
• Successful Schools and Achieving Students 2 places greater focus on transitions; encouraging schools to make better arrangements to support students as they move from one phase of education to the next, to ensure better progress for students.
• Following the recent pandemic, schools are encouraged to develop comprehensive home-learning programmes which ensure continuity of learning for students, making effective use of IT to facilitate students’ independence and responsibility for learning.
• When reviewing health and safety arrangements, there will be increased focus on compliance with government requirements concerning environmental health, fire and other mandatory regulations. ‘Satisfactory’ schools must be fully compliant with all issued regulatory requirements including those defined for early years centres within Education Council guidance.
• In 2021, reports will include an overview of progress made since the last OES inspection. By early November, a paper copy of “Successful Schools and Achieving Students 2” will be delivered to all schools and early learning centres across the Cayman Islands.