Making sure kids go to school

| 08/08/2018

How does the Cayman Government ensure that all school aged children are enrolled in school, attending school and receiving an education?

Advance ChevroletAuntie’s answer: As you probably already know, it is legally mandated that all children between the ages of 5 and 17 must attend school, with certain exceptions such as earning a secondary school diploma early.

I suspect your question reflects concern that a child may somehow fall through the cracks and not be enrolled in school. In Cayman, where neighbours still seem to know each other and people are more connected than in places that are more spread out with much higher populations, I believe that crack is harder for children to fall into.

But whether I am right or wrong in that assessment, the Education Law very specifically addresses the issue of mandatory education for Cayman’s children. Sections 11 and 12 detail the duties of parents and legal guardians to enrol their children as well as the penalties for not doing so.

Along with that, in cases where parents do not make sure their children are going to school, Section 16(1) of The Education Regulations, 2017 sets out the appointment of school attendance officers who “shall be responsible for the enforcement of compulsory attendance at school of all children of compulsory school age”.

Part of the job of an officer under Section 16(2)(c) is “to inquire into every suspected case of unlawful failure to attend school within the officer’s knowledge or when requested to do so by the (Ministry of Education) Chief Officer, the Chief Officer’s designate or the school leader”.

If an officer has reason to believe someone is preventing a child from going to school, the officer can then report it to the police, who will investigate, which includes going to the child’s home. In addition, the police can stop and question any child who looks to be of compulsory school age but is not at school.

For more details of the law and regulations, you can find both documents on the CNS Library.

I’m sure no one wants to believe that a parent would deliberately keep a child out of school. But if there is a problem with not having the funds for such things as a school uniform and supplies, the Needs Assessment Unit is there to help.

However, home schooling is legal in Cayman and here’s a link to a previous Auntie question on that topic.


Category: Ask Auntie, Education Questions

Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How is truancy dealt with?

    Why aren’t all students in Cayman provided with ID cards? That way if a child is stopped on island appearing to be skipping school, the child has some form of ID which they can show. The card can then be used for swipping when they enter and exit school. The card would contain the child’s picture, the school they attend, birthdate, the grade they are in and maybe not as mandatory but the name of the class teacher. Other options could include the parents names and contact details and the street address where the child resides.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had neighbours that had two children (5 and 7 years old) that did not go to school. The mother claimed they were home schooled but that was extremely unlikely because they ran around the street and in other yards all day long. Both parents were complete deadbeats. Really sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is the easiest most convenient way to report parents such as these?

      • Anonymous says:

        Read the article. Auntie kindly answered that before your question was posted.

    • Anonymous says:

      I too know of persons whose children do not and never have attended school. In all the cases I am aware of the children are expatriates. Some were even born here but the authorities seem to ignore their existence. One of the children concerned is now no longer of school age. There seems to be few checks and no accountability.