A guide to choosing the right school when moving to the Cayman Islands.
Finding the right school is central to the entire relocation experience for parents. It’s another stressful and complex facet in an already long list of relocation tasks. However, research, careful planning, and a little local intel can help ease the process of choosing the right school when moving to the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Luxury Relocations team assists clients with the school search and advice as part of the relocation planning process.
Here’s our quick guide to choosing the right school when moving to the Cayman Islands:
Understand the Context – Schools in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands has the advantage of excellent schools. However, despite new schools cropping up every year, there remains a shortage of school places locally and for incoming new residents. Many parents in Cayman will even put their kids on school waiting lists from birth to ensure a place. This situation is the context against which incoming families need to plan their relocation to the Cayman Islands. However, with planning, patience, and good communication, finding the right school for your child and securing a place for them there can be achieved. The Cayman Resident magazine gives a good overview of schools in the Cayman Islands. These are some additional factors we think are essential for parents relocating with kids to think about.
It’s important to consider the issue of schooling at the same time as deciding where to live. Although Cayman is a small island and schools start early, so does the traffic. Most parents of children in Cayman’s private schools will drive their children to school as there are limited transportation alternatives (Boating is of the more exotic means of transportation in the dry season!). Allowing the school location to be a factor in determining where you will live takes away the additional commuting burden.
Your budget for your overall relocation and on-going living costs will be a critical determining factor in which school to select. In the Cayman Islands, government-funded schools are reserved for the local Caymanian population. Private school fees will be a significant part of your overall living expenses, so be open to exploring the options in line with your budget.
Consider how long you plan to stay in the Cayman and your plans beyond life in Cayman. For example, if you are relocating for a limited time, twenty-four months on the Global Citizen Concierge Program. In that case, you may choose a school whose curriculum aligns more with your home country so that your child can make an easier transition on your return.
Remember to take the timetable for the school year into account when considering the time frames of your relocation. This will include time for applying for a visa or permits, finding a home, time to settle in and acclimatise, and shipping your possessions. The Cayman Luxury Relocation team can help you coordinate the different timelines of each aspect of your move as part of our relocation planning process.
Carefully consider your child’s personality and strengths in assessing the culture and curriculum that would suit them best. Then create a list of the features of a school that are most important to you and your child.
This could range from strong academics and accelerated learning programs to excellent sports facilities, or even the presence of a robotics club! For some kids, the availability of extra-curricular activities could be the most important factor in making a choice. Consider also whether the curriculum taught, supplemental learning support or the pupil-to-teacher ratio meets your child’s needs. You may find that you have to make compromises in some areas, so be prepared for that too.
Visit the schools
Where possible, we recommend visiting the schools in person or virtually to get a sense of the school’s authentic atmosphere. Take your child with you or allow them to participate in the virtual tour and ask for their opinion. Does it feel like a place in which your child will be happy and thrive? Do you feel welcomed? Are the teaching staff and pupils friendly and confident? Are the school premises well maintained and respected?
Your child’s education should be about more than academic results. You want a school that can meet both your child’s educational and pastoral needs adequately. A place where they can feel happy and settled in their new environment. So talk to teachers, and ask to speak to current families attending the school. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to find out as much as you can about the school’s culture.
Part of the relocation planning process at Cayman Luxury Relocations is providing guidance to clients in choosing the right school when moving to the Cayman Islands. If you’re thinking seriously about relocating with kids, we cannot emphasise enough the importance of getting the ball rolling on this aspect of your relocation early on in the process.
Contact the relocation team at Cayman Luxury Relocations to help smooth your relocation and ease your transition into the Cayman Islands.