AEC Improves

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Published 11th October 2006, 1:6pm

The Alternative Education Centre (AEC) is the only facility of its kind in the Cayman Islands for students, aged 12 to 17 years, who have been excluded from their high schools due to behavioural difficulties. The AEC gives students an opportunity to achieve in a different setting.

The centre offers three main programmes - a suspension unit, tutorial unit, and transition unit. The suspension unit takes students who have been suspended for short periods of time by the high schools. The tutorial unit caters for students who have been given long-term suspensions by George Hicks High School; it aims to reintegrate them into mainstream classes, depending on the progress they make in their behaviour. The transition unit offers a one to two year 'school-to-work' programme that includes work experience, for older students who have been expelled.

This inspection took place from the 13th to 16th June, 2006 and involved a team of four inspectors, including the centre's link inspector. The inspection team judged that, overall, the AEC provides a satisfactory education for its students. Inspectors reported that the AEC staff provide a very caring, safe and secure environment for students and that good relationships are a feature of the centre's positive ethos. The report went on to say that the centre is successful in enabling many of its students, some of whom have complex emotional, social and mental health problems, to make considerable improvements in their behaviour and attitudes towards learning.

The report concluded that the AEC has improved since the previous inspection, under its new leadership. Some strengths have been maintained, but there are areas that still need to be improved further. It will continue to need external help to move forward, particularly in those areas that are outside of its control.

The inspection report identified the following as strengths of the school:

  • It improves the behaviour of many students
  • It helps to raise students' confidence, self-esteem and concentration
  • The transition unit prepares students well for being more effective members of society and for the world of work
  • Staff have established a strong ethos of care, commitment and concern for students
  • There are effective links with parents, carers, guardians and the community

These are areas that have been identified as needing improvement:

  • Communication within the centre
  • The curriculum, particularly for students in the tutorial unit
  • The system for monitoring students' performance throughout the centre
  • The effectiveness of some of the teaching
  • The understanding of the role and purpose of the suspension unit and the way it is used by the high schools

The centre is expected to modify its existing improvement plan or to prepare a supplementary action plan to address the areas for improvement identified above. It is also required to provide parents with an annual update on the progress that is being made in addressing the areas identified as needing to improve.

A copy of the report can be found on the Schools' Inspectorate's web site:

Last Updated 2012-02-01