November 13, 2019

Statement from the Ministry of Education on Cayman Islands Examinations Results in 2016


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From The Cayman Islands Ministry of Education

The National Education 2016 was published on the Ministry of Education’s website ( on April 24th, 2017. This information was shared at the 2016 and was previously reported on by media.  It should also be noted that report student progress to parents and relevant stakeholders regularly.  Finally, this information was also discussed at a recent Chamber of Commerce ‘Be Informed’ session with media in attendance, and the Minister read from the report this past Tuesday (9 May 2017) on a local radio program.  Therefore, statements that the report was leaked are misleading and factually incorrect.

The Data Report, which includes trend analysis and next steps for the system, identifies that students at the primary level have seen improvements in their performance over time, but that they are not yet meeting their CAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) predictors in the areas of English and mathematics. The expectation is that students will achieve a level 4 in English and mathematics by the time they leave Primary Education.

At the secondary (high school) level the overall trend has been one of improvement over time as well, although when measuring the benchmark of 5 plus subjects including English and maths at Year 11, students are not yet meeting their CAT predictors.  However, CAT predictors are being met by the end of Year 12. It is worth noting that Year 12 is the end of secondary education.

When looking at Year 11 specifically, for the 2015-2016 academic year, there was a marginal decline in CAT performance compared to the previous year’s figures (38% to 36%). This can be attributed to an overall under-performance in mathematics seen throughout the Caribbean region in 2016.  The Caribbean Examinations Council quoted the following about the region’s performance in mathematics: “There was a 13-point decline in performance in Mathematics with 44 per cent of entries achieving acceptable grades this year compared with 57 per cent in 2015.” (CXC website:

Despite these declines, overall system performance continues to show a positive trend over time with notable increases in core subject areas, as is highlighted by the Data Report.

At the Secondary Level (High School):

  • Science: 2014 – 17.8%, 2015 – 35.7% and 2016 – 55.4%.  This improvement is attributed to changes in strategies and intervention according to student need.
  • English: 60.8% in 2016 compared to 59.4% in 2015

Through the development of an annual Plan of Action, the Ministry of Education and Department of are prioritising continued improvement in student outcomes.  A few areas of focus include:

  • Analysis of examination results including supporting documentation from Examination Boards identifying areas for improvement.  Action plans are developed and implemented by schools as next steps using this information.
  • Barriers to student learning
  • Early identification of gaps in student learning
  • Early intervention to close these gaps
  • Building capacity at all levels of the system
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