The Office of Education Standards (OES) in conjunction with Cambridge Education Trust, UK conducted a two day training for Associate Inspectors at the George Town Public Library. Eight local education professionals including senior educators, primary and high school principals, a Senior School Improvement Officer and the Head of the Cayman Youth Service Department participated in the training.
The main objectives of the training were to build the capacity of education professionals in the Cayman Islands to facilitate effective self-evaluation in schools, promote collaborative approaches to inspection and build a cadre of qualified, skilled local Associate Inspectors to support the inspection of schools and early years centres in the Cayman Islands. The training focused primarily on the new inspection framework, “Successful Schools and Achieving students” which will be used to guide inspections commencing in September 2018. Of note, Mr. Carpenter and his team are now inspecting three of the government high schools; one private school and two early years centres as part of a programme of regular inspections.
Prior to the face-to face intensive two day training; the participants completed an online training course during the summer which involved reading assignments and coursework. Following the successful completion of the post training assignments, the ‘Associate Inspectors’ will be deployed to shadow experienced Inspectors beginning in January 2019. This will allow the OES team to support their professional judgments and their compliance with the OES Code of Conduct.
Peter Carpenter, Director of the Office of Education Standards, was pleased with the quality of the training and noted that “The addition of eight experienced and qualified Cayman Associate Inspectors to our team is significant and will ensure the quality and future impact of inspections on the Cayman Islands.” He further stated that “Inspectors will see many examples of good practice whilst engaged in their visits to Early Years Centres and schools. We trust that this will help extend the effective work we see in public and private schools across a wider range of educational institutions.”
The participants were equally impressed with the quality of the training and many shared positive feedback. Mrs. Shauna Haylock, a qualified educator with over 25 years of experience in teaching said, "As an Associate Inspector, it is critical that I form secure judgments on aspects of a school, not solely from my personal feelings or thoughts on what constitutes effectiveness, but from an agreed framework by which all team members, local and overseas, are guided. The training session has been useful in clarifying the understanding of the structure and has further equipped me to effectively contribute to school inspections and by extension, to school improvement." The principal of Layman Scott High School, Mr. Adrian E. Jones noted that despite the intense nature of the training, “I am enlightened and truly inspired.” He added, “I have already identified areas of my current practice where the skills and information could be readily utilised, and I look forward eagerly to using these new skills in helping to ensure that every student in the Cayman Islands experience a world class education that sets the foundation for the significant contributions they will make to this society.”
The training reinforced the commitment of the OES to raising the standards of achievement in schools in the Cayman Islands and creating a world class inspection system.