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Published 20th February 2018, 9:16am

For the first time, the Education Council has been appointed under the new Education Law, 2016 and Education Regulations, 2017, both of which are now in effect.  The new legislation outlines more specifically the qualifications that members should possess in comparison to the previous legislation and specifically details the role of the Education Council.

    This new legislation now allows the Chair to be a member of the private sector versus previously the Minister for Education was the Chair of the Council.  Mr. Dan Scott, Managing Partner at EY has been appointed the first non-political Chair of Education Council.

Mr. Scott is joined by 14 members from both the private and public sector, filling the maximum number of 15 appointments allowed under the legislation for the Council.  The other members are Ms. Barbara Conolly, MLA, Councillor for Education and Youth and Mr. Christen Suckoo, Chief Officer for the Ministry of Education or his designate; Ms. Lyneth Monteith, Director of the Department of Education Services;  Mrs. Jacqueline Ebanks, Mrs. Shauna Haylock, and Ms. Debra McLaughlin who possess expertise in the areas of compulsory education, special educational needs, early childhood care and education, technical and vocational education and training, and post-compulsory education; Mrs. Deborah Thompson. who has been nominated by the independent or assisted schools; Mr. Woodrow (Woody) Foster who is a representative of the business community; Mrs. Nola Bodden and Ms. Claudette Lazzari, who are residents of Cayman Brac; Ms. Christina Bodden, Mrs. Maxine Bodden, Mr. Darrel Rankine, and Mrs. Cindy Scotland, who are general members of the Council.

Public Officer, Mrs. Kimberly Kirkconnell from the Ministry of Education has been appointed Secretary of the Education Council.  The Secretary is not considered a member and has no vote on the Council.

The members have been appointed until the 31 August 2018.  The main responsibilities of the Council, as defined in the legislation, are to advise the Minister for Education on such matters pertaining to education as the Minister may require; make decisions on matters pertaining to education as the Minister may delegate to it pursuant to section 3(4) of the Education Law, 2016; register educational institutions, institutions providing educational support services, and teachers in schools and early childhood care and education centres; regulate the teaching profession in accordance with standards set by the Ministry; and perform such other functions as may be prescribed by the Education Law, 2016 or any other law.

Thanking all for accepting their appointment, Minister for Education Hon. Juliana O'Connor-Connolly said, "I am appreciative of the members' commitment to education and their willingness to accept their appointments to the Education Council. The Education Council is essential as it provides an invaluable service to the Cayman Islands Government, the public and most importantly the children of our country. The Council aids in the task of improving educational opportunities and outcomes for students.  I am confident that the expertise of this Council will be a true benefit to the Education System of the Cayman Islands and I look forward to continue working with this Council to raise the standard of education in the Cayman Islands"