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Mrs. Helena McVeigh (front & centre) and the Schools' Inspectorate team receive the Investors in People award.

Published 11th September 2007, 12:24pm

The Cayman Islands Schools' Inspectorate has earned its place among the cream of Cayman's employers, as the very first government department to receive the prestigious Investors in People (IIP) Standard. The standard is a credible and highly-respected symbol the world-over that its holder has developed a clear strategy for improving performance as well as recognizing and promoting the development of its employees. The Schools' Inspectorate joins a growing elite in the Cayman Islands, which includes Appleby Hunter Bailhache, Julius Baer Bank and Trust Company Ltd., KPMG, The National Gallery, Bank Austria Cayman Islands Ltd. and CUC. The Schools' Inspectorate, which falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports and Culture, is responsible for the provision of external evaluation for Cayman's public and private schools, in order to ensure that standards are maintained and school managers are afforded guidance on opportunities for self-improvement. The Schools' Inspectorates' Chief Inspector of Schools, Mrs. Helena McVeigh, is delighted that her organisation has met the IIP standard. She explained, "One of the reasons that the Inspectorate put itself forward for assessment was to act as a role model for schools and to encourage them to work towards attaining the IIP standard." She continued, "We tightened up procedures following a diagnostic visit a year ago, and have developed a more systematic approach to planning and reviewing our team members and their work." Mrs. L. Angela Martins MBE, Chief Officer of the Education Ministry, is understandably proud of the Inspectorate's achievement, saying, "Across all of the Ministry's areas we have striven to instill a culture of best-practices and total commitment to supporting staff. This award is demonstrative that government departments can deliver this level of value and I am delighted that this is one of ours!" She added, "It would be great if other government departments are inspired to follow this lead." The IIP assessment is based on three major principles: planning and developing improvement strategies; enacting performance improvement measures; and reviewing and evaluating the impact of performance. There are ten criteria associated with the three principles and organisations who meet the standard are required to satisfy each. Mr. Paul Deaville, the experienced IIP assessor for the Schools' Inspectorate, offered plenty of praise in his report. Mr. Deaville said, "There was a tangible, positive morale encountered during the visit. There seems to be an enthusiasm for doing a good job and diligent effort can be felt across the Inspectorate." He went on to say, "Visible leadership and a genuine interest in people were intended to create an organization where people enjoy the challenge of their work. People commented on the Chief Inspector's vision and sense of purpose, wealth of experience and high standards combined with human professionalism." He concluded that he was 'satisfied beyond any doubt that the Schools' Inspectorate meets the requirements of the Investors in People Standard.' The Inspectorate team includes a deputy, three senior inspectors, a newly appointed inspector, and two administrative staff. In addition to school inspections, the Inspectorate undertakes surveys of subjects across all schools, offers support and monitors performance via a link inspector. Inspection reports can be accessed via the Ministry's website, Mrs. McVeigh said of the Inspectorate's team members, who are 'more accustomed to doing the assessing than being assessed', "We really are a learning organisation and this is encouraged and developed all the time. We believe in the importance of professional development, strong team work and a commitment to improvement."