For being such a small island, Cayman has a wide variety of excellent public and private schools from preschool all the way to university level. There are also a handful of adult classes available in case you are looking to start a new hobby or meet new people.
For the 2015-16 school calendar year, there were 2,456 students enrolled in government primary schools, 2,252 students enrolled in government secondary schools and 109 students enrolled in the Lighthouse School, the country’s school for special needs.
There were 4,998 students in private schools (1,785 under the age of 4 years 9 months in preschools, 1,804 in primary schools and 1,409 in secondary schools). In Cayman, it is compulsory for all children from the age of four years and nine months to age 17 to attend school or be home-schooled.
Students enrolling in government primary and high schools must register with the Department of Education Services, 130 Thomas Russell Way, George Town, Grand Cayman or the Cayman Brac Teacher’s Centre, between mid-May and mid-July.
You will need to present a copy of the child’s birth certificate, immunisation card and documentation showing the child’s residency category (i.e. a passport or status letter). Parents must also supply proof of their street address, by presenting a utility bill and lease or notarised letter from a landlord if renting. Catchment areas determine which school your child will attend.
Priority for entry into a government school goes first to Caymanians/Status holders, then to dependants of Caymanians, thirdly to dependants of government employees and lastly to permanent residents. A Government school education is not open to the children of expats who work in the private sector and are here on a work permit. Class sizes are capped at 24 students per class for kindergarten and Grade 1 and 28 students in other years.
Cayman also has quite a few private preschools, and then just a handful of private primary and high schools. As far as nurseries and preschools are concerned, remember to enrol your wee ones early! New arrivals to the island are often shocked at how quickly private schools can get filled up here – and you don’t want to get stuck without a place in a school for your child.
The Ministry of Education, Employment and Gender Affairs is committed to providing students with every possible opportunity to fulfill their education and career goals. Scholarships are available through the Scholarship Secretariat to pursue local or overseas tertiary studies, TVET, Associate, Bachelor, Master and Ph.D.
Cayman has a great selection of educational courses for adults – some professional and vocational while others are more creative, musical and/or language based.