November 27, 2020

Anglin blasts media as education plan revealed

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Be-Part-300x232Further to our Editorial on Feb 7th “Maths passes amaze”, Cayman Islands Education Minister, Rolston Anglin, in announcing the Strategic Education Plan, blasted the media naming the Caymanian Compass at the way they had presented a story and editorial about the poor test results the government schools had obtained.

Apparently the media hasn’t pushed the facts that there have been improvements in the exam results as children leave the government high school, with half of them leaving this year with five or more passes.

Excellent.

However, the progress tests showed 80% of 11-12 year olds in high school did not meet the minimum expected levels in English and mathematics!

Shocking!

Anglin thought it was unfair of the Compass to present the results in the way it had that allowed readers to believe they were education experts.

Apparently these tests were a pilot exercise that was new to both staff and students. They were being used as a benchmark for progress and the minister said they should not be used as a snapshot to measure standards.

Speaking at last Thursday’s Government Press Briefing Anglin said the progress tests were not intended to be used to make sweeping judgments about the government schools!

Pointing to the latest CXC/GCSE results he said this was the fifth year in a row that saw improvements, leaping from a low of 27% of students passing five of their school leaving exams five years ago to over 49% in 2012.

Acknowledging there was a problem and not disputing the published figures he said he knew there was a need to improve teaching practice and the community wanted better results.

“We aim to get them,” he said. “I am confident in my ministerial team, school leaders and teachers. With the greater engagement of parents, things will get even better and the system will go from good to great.”

In giving details of the neEducation Planw Strategic Education Plan he said the plan was borne out of wide consultation and listening to stakeholders including work the previous PPM had done.

“The national plan, he said, “started with the 2009 stabilisation plan, which at that time was not a stagnation plan. The plan commits the authorities to be accountable for implementing the plan. If we continue the work that has been started, we will have world class education system for Cayman. If we wind up being truly committed to education being the number one priority there are no reasons, given the resources and with teacher and parent support, that we can’t get to point where 75% of students leaving school getting at least five level two passes.”

Going back to his complaint about the media he said the way the results had been publicised was “upsetting for parents and children and it did not help in the goal to improve standards.”

“I have never shied away from the need to improve teaching practices,” Anglin said, “but it had to start at primary level. The authority knows what the community wants. There will be no reactionary change of course for the education plan because of a few comments.”

In Anglin’s message on the plan he says:

“The Plan tackles the challenges we face as we strive to develop the education system our nation and communities need and deserve. If our young people are to contribute to and make a positive impact on our national wealth and well-being, they will need to be ever more resourceful; creative and innovative; critical thinkers; problem-solvers and decision-makers. We need our teachers, leaders, parents and communities to pull together to nurture and support our children’s progress and achievements, to ensure their readiness for success in an ever-changing and complex world.

‘The 2011 Education Stabilisation Plan focused our collective efforts and resources on system improvements. Our Ministry and the Department of Education Services have been restructured and refocused to provide the necessary leadership and targeted support for strategic change. I have ensured that there are clear professional standards for teachers, key national policies, explicit academic requirements for graduation and robust interventions to improve student performance in literacy and mathematics. We have established a successful Behaviour and Education Support Team (BEST) programme, to build a multi-agency partnership approach to support our most vulnerable children. Our Extended After-School Programme, supported by the Ministry of Health and private sector partners, has benefitted almost 1,000 children in our primary and secondary schools, and keeps young people safe and engaged in productive activities until their parents return from work each day.

“We have taken exciting and innovative steps to revitalise and improve our early childhood care and education system, with a new Cayman Islands Early Years Curriculum Framework, more Reception classes and targeted training for practitioners in private and government settings. I have ensured that there is clear support for the leadership of each school, through the guidance and support from Senior School Improvement Officers and, for teachers, through a professional development programme, based on identified national priorities. We now have comprehensive and reliable student performance data, in a readily accessible format, and the drive is on to improve the use of assessment for learning and make effective use of performance data to set targets, measure progress and improve standards.

“The Cayman Islands Strategic Plan for Education acknowledges that we still have work to do to be amongst the best education systems in the world, but this is where I intend this system will be in the foreseeable future. The Plan takes a five-year look ahead, and sets out very clearly where we must be by 2017, to make progress towards securing the high quality education system I want for our students.

“The world our young people face is tough and challenging. We need ‘all hands on deck’ to support and guide them so that they become successful and resilient citizens, adaptable, flexible and skilled enough to survive and flourish as Global and Caymanian citizens.

“The Cayman Islands Strategic Plan for Education is organised under six goals:

Strengthen leadership and build national capacity;

Build a world-class early childhood care and education system;

Secure high standards and improve student progress and achievement;

Build safer school communities and promote inclusion;

Enhance skills for learning, life and work and

Engage parents as partners in their children’s learning

“Together we must inspire, create opportunities and provide the necessary support to make this vision a reality for all of our children. I believe the Cayman Islands Strategic Plan for Education, effectively implemented, will provide the framework we need to achieve these goals.”

Strategic Goal 1:

Strengthen leadership and build national capacity

Develop an effective system within which stakeholders work together to improve education, provide accountability and leadership, and build capacity at all levels.

Strategic Objectives

1.1 Review and enhance the legislative and policy framework for education

Key Actions:

a. Implement an improved legislative framework for education

b. Strengthen legal requirements, systems and procedures for the registration and oversight of private schools and home schooling

c. Establish a policy development schedule and programme

 

1.2 Strengthen leadership and accountability at all levels of the education system

 

Key Actions:

a. Establish key performance indicators to monitor and report on school improvement, including test data, satisfaction surveys and alumni tracking

b. Develop a robust programme of professional development for senior leadership, and those aspiring to become leaders

c. Develop, implement and review strategies to develop middle and subject leadership

d. Review and revise the inspection framework and implement a new quality assurance system

1.3 Develop a partnership approach to build capacity in the education system

Key Actions:

a. Develop and implement an effective communication and consultation strategy

b. Establish an Early Years Private Centres Association, a Teachers’ Forum, a Student Forum and a National Parent Teacher Association

c. Strengthen advisory functions of the Principals’ Consultative Council

d. Develop a volunteer scheme to capture the energy and commitment of the community and employer groups

1.4 Attract, develop and retain high quality educators

Key Actions:

a. Implement a rigorous recruitment process to attract and retain exceptional teachers

b. Provide high quality initial teacher education in partnership with UCCI

c. Establish a mentoring programme for newly-qualified teachers

d. Provide high quality professional development and training for teachers

e. Embed the new Cayman Islands Professional Standards for Teachers and the resulting performance management system, to support improvement

f. Establish clear career pathways and succession planning that identifies, develops and promotes Caymanian talent within the education service

g. Establish ways to recognise, celebrate and reward success and high performance

1.5 Improve opportunities and provision in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

Key Actions:

a. Conduct further stakeholder reviews to establish local priorities in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

b. Introduce programme of further education options for Year 12 students

c. Expand after-school programmes to include Cayman Brac

Strategic Goal 2:

Build a world-class early childhood care and education system in the Cayman Islands

Provide access to high quality early childhood care and education to all children, regardless of income, background, special or additional education need.

Strategic Objectives

2.1 Support parents and families to be confident in their role and have an understanding of their children’s early developmental and learning need.

Key Actions:

a. Develop and distribute information to parents and the public on early years

b. Develop and facilitate workshops on early childhood development and how children learn in the early years

c. Develop and maintain partnerships with internal and external stakeholders

2.2 Support early childhood care and education (ECCE) centre/school owners and operators to be knowledgeable of and responsible for the needs of the children in their care

Key Actions:

a. Develop, implement and monitor an ECCE centre registration process

b. Support ECCE centre owners and operators to develop and implement new policies and procedures that align with the new ECCE Regulations

c. Develop and facilitate workshops on best practice in the early years

2.3 Provide opportunities for early years teachers and practitioners to be confident and qualified in their roles

Key Actions:

a. Guide and mentor ECCE teachers and practitioners

b. Develop and facilitate on-going training to meet individual and group needs

c. Investigate and facilitate learning pathways for individuals and groups to gain qualifications

2.4 Standardise quality provision across ECCE centres and schools for children and their families

Key Actions:

a. Develop, implement and mandate the Cayman Islands Early Years Curriculum Framework

b. Develop and facilitate training and support with individuals and groups of ECCE centres and schools

c. Monitor the progress and quality of provision within ECCE centres and schools

d. Implement a registration system for ECCE providers and practitioners.

2.5 Encourage collaboration so that children have smooth transition processes between home, ECCE centres and school

Key Actions:

a. Establish guidelines for appropriate assessment documentation and transfer of information

2.6 Investigate, develop and maintain funding mechanisms to support and provide for early childhood needs in the community

Key Actions:

a. Apply the Early Childhood Assistance Fund process to applicants

b. Work closely with the private sector to ensure strategic partnerships are developed to fund critical areas of need

Strategic Goal 3:

Secure high standards and improve student progress and achievement

Ensure opportunities for all students to achieve measurable success.

Strategic Objectives

3.1 Provide a comprehensive National Curriculum that will improve opportunities for students to experience success and develop the skills they need for the future

Key Actions:

a. Review and revise the National Curriculum, content, programmes of study, assessment and transitions

b. Review the structure of the academic year

c. Review and rationalise the option blocks, choice of external examination boards and syllabi, and guide students to follow the programmes best suited to their individual needs and interests

d. Promote the Caymanian cultural heritage and history in collaboration with community partners to encourage love of country and respect for our environment

e. Embed character education throughout the curriculum to support our children to become responsible, caring and contributing citizens

f. Provide opportunities for creativity and appreciation of music, the performing arts and visual arts

g. Promote wellness and healthy lifestyle choices through cross-curricular opportunities including physical education and sports enrichment

h. Provide resources to support teachers and learners in implementing the curriculum

3.2 Provide a range of learning experiences that develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding and promote high standards through effective teaching

Key Actions:

a. Support teachers in planning effective lessons and integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

b. Improve teaching and learning strategies and interventions to improve student achievement

c. Use a range of assessments to evaluate student progress and inform classroom decision-making and planning

d. Promote and extend inquiry-based learning throughout the curriculum

e. Establish a Teachers’ Resource Centre on Grand Cayman to support collaboration and the sharing of resources

3.3 Improve skills in literacy and numeracy

Key Actions:

a. Monitor and analyse outcomes to inform interventions

b. Develop and implement interventions including coaching, to improve student outcomes

c. Use national data to set targets and evaluate the impact of interventions

3.4 Set high standards of achievement and monitor students’ progress

Key Actions:

a. Use system data to establish national benchmarks

b. Provide quality assurance through a schedule of inspections of schools and other educational provision

c. Ensure that the results of quality assurance reports contribute to school improvement

d. Publish annual National Data Reports including progress targets

e. Provide schools with their annual performance data to inform school improvement planning and target setting

f. Monitor school improvement through the Senior School Improvement Officers

3.5 Make use of accurate information by developing data systems and processes

Key Actions:

a. Improve the quality of the school database

b. Develop and maintain appropriate governance arrangements for the management of data

c. Improve access to statistical information to serve the needs of all users

d. Provide statistical information on education to the Cayman Islands Government Economics and Statistics Office and agreed international organisations

3.6 Improve provision for those students with Special and Additional Educational Needs (SEN/AEN)

Key Actions:

a. Review current SEN/AEN provision and practices to improve effectiveness across the system

b. Ensure the consistent and effective implementation of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice

c. Develop and implement codes of practice and provide specific accommodations for:

i. Students whose first language is not English

ii. Gifted and Talented students

Strategic Goal 4:

Build safer school communities and promote inclusion

Promote student progression within welcoming, supportive, respectful and inclusive learning environments that value individual safety, well-being and the right to learn.

Strategic Objectives

4.1 Develop national policies and guidance to support welcoming, safe and respectful schools

Key Actions:

a. Apply proactive national policies and guidance to establish school based procedures relating to Safer Schools

b. Create a framework that outlines the roles and responsibilities for developing and ensuring a welcoming, safe and respectful school

c. Provide clear guidance on the reporting of and responding to serious incidents including: drug activity; gang involvement; sexual misconduct; child abuse; violence; bullying; harassment and truancy

 

4.2 Establish a supportive and welcoming school culture and community

 

Key Actions:

a. Ensure that staff model and promote positive values and expectations

b. Expect that schools demonstrate and support equal opportunities and diversity

c. Build positive, caring and respectful relationships within the school and the community to create a sense of belonging

d. Use technology to create open, active, collaborative school communities

e. Implement whole school policies and procedures to support the safety and well-being of all members of the school community

 

4.3 Support students to develop the understanding and skills to keep themselves and others safe and well

 

Key Actions:

a. Develop students’ personal, spiritual and moral well-being

b. Provide a Safer Schools curriculum to educate students about topics such as misuse of drugs, gang-related activities, bullying, harassment, sexual misconduct, personal health and safety

c. Provide opportunities for social and emotional learning including teamwork

d. Introduce approaches to discipline that move from punishment to restoration, such as second chances for students

e. Implement programmes to support pregnant teens, as well as young mothers and fathers, of school age

 

4.4 Promote student well-being and inclusive learning

 

Key Actions:

a. Strengthen school leadership to increase attendance and positive behaviour

b. Establish effective rules and routines that promote welcoming environments, positive behaviour and individual safety

c. Promote student engagement through challenging, meaningful and differentiated teaching and learning practices

d. Strengthen measures to monitor suspensions, attendance, truancy and the effectiveness of interventions

e. Ensure that every school complies with child protection policy and procedures

4.5 Establish individualised learning pathways to increase the inclusion of at-risk students

Key Actions:

a. Negotiate flexible education programmes for at-risk students, including work experience options

b. Strengthen school-based systems and services to provide interventions for at risk students

 

4.6 Develop effective provision for at-risk students through multi-agency partnerships

Key Actions:

a. Strengthen existing interventions through the Behaviour and Education Support Team (BEST)

b. Expand the Extended After-School Programme to all primary schools and Cayman Brac

c. Make provision for students with mental health issues and young offenders

d. Collaborate with community agencies to increase parent awareness of drugs, gangs, bullying and other challenging behaviour

e. Implement a multi-agency support programme for parents whose children are at-risk and in transition between education facilities

Strategic Goal 5:

Enhance skills for learning, life and work

Provide young people completing compulsory education and training programmes with the relevant skills and attitudes to be global citizens and productive members of the community, able to compete for current and future job opportunities.

Strategic Objectives

 

5.1 Provide access to a range of further education and training programmes aligned to national priorities

 

Key Actions:

a. Collaborate with the National Workforce Development Agency, local employers and other organisations to establish youth training and apprenticeship pathways

b. Expand the range of pre-vocational (Years 7 – 11) and vocational (Year 12) programmes that prepare students for work-related further education and training

 

5.2 Extend partnerships with employers to inform school-to-work initiatives and to provide quality work-based learning experiences

 

Key Actions:

a. Provide training opportunities for educators, employers and others involved in school-to-work activities, to help them understand the system and their role within it

b. Extend opportunities to work with relevant organisations, including the establishment of an employer’s forum to provide a seamless transition between TVET5 and other vocational programmes

5.3 Strengthen the support for work readiness and career preparation for primary and secondary students

Key Actions:

a. Implement a Work Ready programme for primary and secondary students that focuses on practical understanding, skills and positive attitudes needed to develop employable youth

b. Further develop the Careers Unit to include careers assessment and exposure, guidance and counselling for Years 7 – 12 students

c. Incorporate the key work-readiness principles of the Passport2Success programme through workshops for students, parents and teachers

d. Establish an externally accredited work readiness certification programme for Years 10 – 12 students

5.4 Review the National Curriculum to emphasise the importance of developing a strong work ethic, social responsibility and Christian character

Key Actions:

a. Establish a framework for developing and evaluating competencies associated with confident, successful and responsible learners

b. Develop a national life-skills programme that promotes Christian values, life-long learning and includes creativity, innovation, enterprise and work-readiness skills

c. Emphasise the literacy and numeracy skills required in Years 7 – 12 in preparation for the world of work

 

5.5 Provide access to further education, training and employment for students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Key Actions:

a. Establish a framework of key skills and interventions for students with special needs in preparation for further education and the world of work

b. Expand the use of the Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) programme to guide activities that prepare students for learning, living and work opportunities

5.6 Promote greater participation in higher education

Key Actions:

a. Develop a “Valuing Education” campaign to increase participation in higher education

b. Collaborate with other agencies to develop and share resources, to inform, encourage and prepare students for higher education

c. Partner with higher education organisations to develop programmes and opportunities for our most able students

d. Assist parents and caregivers in sourcing funds for higher education

Strategic Goal 6:

Engage parents as partners in their children’s learning

Build partnerships with parents and communities that empower and support them in their role as active participants in their children’s learning.

Strategic Objectives

6.1 Support parents and families to actively engage in their children’s learning

Key Actions:

a. Establish national policy and framework to support parents in their own children’s learning

b. Develop a National Parent Teacher Association

c. Provide information for parents about how the education system works and how they can access support and advice

d. Develop and support schools to deliver a programme for engaging parents as positive partners in their children’s learning

e. Improve on-going communication between parents and teachers

f. Create more opportunities for parents, families and communities to become involved in their children’s school

 

6.2 Provide training for schools and workshops for parents to support a stronger partnership between home and school

 

Key Actions:

a. Provide a programme for education professionals to support productive relationships with parents and to create welcoming spaces for parents

b. Establish “Parents as Partners“ workshops in collaboration with schools

c. Provide good quality information and raise parental awareness of career opportunities and how they can support their children’s career readiness in a global society

6.3 Develop a multi-agency approach to supporting parents as their child’s first educator

Key Actions:

a. Develop a collaborative framework for the effective delivery of support for parents as their children’s first educators

b. Create a directory of services for parents so that they can access information and support

c. Collaborate with relevant providers to strengthen the links between communities and schools

 

6.4 Support young parents of school age to become effective partners in their children’s development

Key Actions:

a. Provide workshops for education professionals to support young parents of school age to complete their education and succeed

b. Provide training for very young parents on how to support their own children’s learning

c. Collaborate with other providers to establish resources for young parents

6.5 Develop a communications strategy to promote the importance of parents in their children’s learning and success

 

Key Actions:

a. Establish a public awareness campaign that promotes the important role parents play in their children’s education

b. Create interactive website for parents to improve communication and share information

c. Establish a parent-to-parent network

For a copy of the Cayman Islands Strategic Plan for Education go to:

http://www.education.gov.ky

Educ statsEduc proj structure web

 

 

 

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