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Cayman Islands

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by carrie99, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. <font size="2">A lot of the jobs advertised by the government are not necessarily open positions. All employers are required by law to re-advertise positions every year to allow for any qualified Caymanians who may be interested in the job. So just because a job is being advertised doesn't mean that a teacher will be leaving. They are also wanting to fill up their CV database should any last minute changes occur. </font><font size="2"> </font> <font size="2">It's a great place to live and work but you need to have the right mind set. Keystage 3 and 4 will be combined into one school whereas in the past they have had separate buildings. We are supposed to have 2 new high schools next year but the likely hood of that happening is slim. The construction process has come to a grinding halt because of some legal issues between government and the contractor. It will definitely be chaotic next year with all the changes but also a great time to get involved from the ground up. </font>
    <font size="2"> Definitely worth it to apply though! </font><font size="2"> </font>
  2. Thanks for the info&hellip; I&rsquo;m just sorting out my application&hellip; then I&rsquo;ll just wait and see what happens&hellip; Just one more thing&hellip; what are the students like? Are they generally ok or is behaviour a big problem?
  3. Hi Carrie, Just a few words of warning about the Cayman Islands and their application process having seen there are currently jobs advertised there. I and my girlfriend applied for teaching jobs there last year she was accepted and told that there was no guarantee as to which Island she would be placed on i.e. there are 3 and Grand Cayman (the largest island) is approx 140km away from the other 2 islands of which the other 2 island have a collective popultion of about 2,500.
    Where as thats not neccessarily a problem the cost of living appears to be high (I've never lived there but from research this is what I've deduced, correct me if I'm wrong people!)
    We both applied in December 2008 and heard nothing until April 2009, where by my girlfriend was invited for interview. I was unsuccessful on my first attempt but a general teacher job came up (supply type job I think) and because my girlfriend had been successful I decided to apply for it. Was successful to interview and despite me applying nearly 2 months earlier and stating (with regular email contact between myself and a government worker) that I needed to hand my resignation should I be successful I did not receive confirmation of Interview until 2 days past my resignation date! What they were playing at I've no idea!
    With my bosses go ahead I took the interview anyway. It was set to start at 2pm, I was using somebody elses office and decided to get on with some work whilst waiting. I was in the office until 3:30pm when the phone rang for my interview, I genuinely thought it was some one else. 'Sorry we're late' was the reply. Honestly, an organisation or authority should pride itself on its recruitment process but their's is SHOCKING!
    If thats what I got on the recruitment process can you imagine what it would be like working for them?! In the end my girlfriend rejected the post because I was unsuccessful and thank goodness. The Cayman Island government was &pound;50 million in debt last September, unable to pay some of its workers and unable to make pension and healthcare payments for others. Their promise was to pay a months wages up front as an arrival down payment. Had we have gone I very much doubt they would have made it. Other people may have had a much better experience but that was mine and despite the massive appeal of such a beautiful location, the cost of living, awful experience with the education dept of the government, apparent lack of guarantee of pay and lack of guarantee of Island meant that I believe they have no idea about what they're doing and I'd prefer to live some where else!
    Also the fact that they are advertising the same jobs they advertised last year leads me to believe that people don't want to stay there either. This is just my opinion and I'd very much like to hear what other peoples' experiences are. Hope this helps and good luck with your application.
  4. kal-mc

    kal-mc New commenter

    I got an email yesterday from the Cayman Islands regarding an ICT job I applied for in January. I assumed I had been unsuccessful, but made it to interview 4 months later?!?. Thought I'd check TES for any info and am know wondering if the job became re-available because someone pulled out?
    I had since decided to stay at my school as I had no longer with my international applications, but am now completely unsure what to do!!
    Carrie99, were you successful with your application? I was thinking about emailing them to check contract lengths, would I be able to just do 1 year if I decide to come home? Or would I be expected to do at least 2?
  5. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    The Cayman Islands is a beautiful place to live, high cost of living, but amazing beaches and diving/snorkelling every weekend.
    The country is in a recession, where isn't, and everybody does get their month's salary advance usually within a week of arrival. The stories about people not getting paid etc. are just not true. However, civil servants may well be having a pay cut next year, due to the recession. The details should be known quite soon.
    The Cayman Islands is a very small country, and cannot be expected to run as smoothly as a larger country with well oiled mechanisms. In Education, the HR department is small with a few people doing masses of work, they often have over 1,000 applications to deal with, which as you can imagine takes time. Island time is also very different to 'real time'!
    If you have been contacted now it is likely that someone doesn't want to renew their contract (for all sorts of reasons, not necessarily negative), the structure of the new schools means they need more ICT teachers than they initially thought or the budget for next year has only just been finalised meaning they can now employ more teachers. As I said you cannot compare a tiny, tiny country to a large one in terms of how smoothly they run. Salaries are never late, HR try to be helpful and you can swim in the Caribbean Sea for virtually 365 days a year!
  6. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I forgot, you would usually get a two year contract but could ask about a one year one. Doubt you'd get it though. If you leave after a year you probably won't get flights paid back to the UK and might have to pay back some of the settlement allowance.
  7. Hi, i have an interview next week. I knew it would take a while.. i'm not too worried about the 'island time'.. but it would be good to hear from teacher that went out last sept...
  8. kal-mc

    kal-mc New commenter

    Good luck Carrie.
    Not sure how mine went, found myself quite nervous at first, suppose I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was the usual questions of a lesson that has gone well, a lesson that has gone badly, how do you ensure assessment is affective.
    They said they will e-mail to let me know how it went, not sure how long I will have to wait to find out though, and my school are starting to organise new roles for next year, so if I am staying, would like to commit myself
  9. kal-mc

    kal-mc New commenter

    Hi all,
    I received the email today, and was offered the job!!! I'm pretty sure I want to accept, just need to do a bit more research into the island and decide for sure, they have given me a week. If anyone has or does work in the Cayman Islands, I would love to know your experiences. Will it be a huge culture shock moving from London?
  10. Hi, i got the the job offer email today too! I just need to clarify a few things before i accept!
  11. I'ts good news that they are recruiting for some posts. Great news that some of you have received job offers!
    I was given a date for a science teacher interview in March. This was then postponed and I subsequently received an email a few weeks ago to say I was on a reservation list! No interview. When I enquired about this I was told that due to budgetary restrictions they are unable to recruit at the moment. I'm really disappointed but will reapply next year.

  12. I was considering sitting down this weekend... finding out some more about the Cayman Islands... and if all went well applying for the science positions I have seen advertised there. I've really been put off by the bad reviews though. They are quite old though. I would be so grateful if someone could inform me if there are still the same issues nowadays?
  13. 576

    576 Established commenter

    There are various issues to consider.
    1. Is the vacancy in a private school or a state school?
    2. Is the post on Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac (& the advert probably doesn't say)
    3. How important is job satisfaction to you? ie - can you walk away from a bad day at work with the attitude - 'shove it - I'm going diving/ snorkelling etc' I think lots of teachers last here because the good life that they experience on weekends and holidays outweighs the bad experiences in the classroom.

    PM me if you want - I'm currently teaching in one of the govt schools & I call a spade a spade.
  14. What are the private schools like? I know this is a very vague question, but I think you know what sort of information is useful here!
  15. Hi, I have seen a post available at
    a private school PE teacher. I am very interested in this post, but would love to know more. My partner will have to stop her job and find something new, and my kids will have to join a school. How easy would it be to afford to live there? Ive heard its expensive for rent/living costs etc. would CI$40,000 be a reasonable wage there?

    I look forward to your help,
    Thanks in advance
  16. 576

    576 Established commenter

    You'll probably be spending CI$1500+ a month in rent for a place big enough for a family.
    The concern is going to be school fees. If your children are the right age for the school you will apply to and you can get a significant reduction on fees then you'll probably be fine - but if you have to pay a lot for schooling (& I have no idea how much school fees are) money might be tighter.

  17. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I think you will be paying nearer 2k for a family place. I think you would be hard pushed to live comfortably on 40k, even if you get a discount on school fees. The cost of living is really very high in Cayman and very little, if anything is cheap. If your OH can get a job then that's a different story. I have recently returned to the UK after 5 years in Cayman, and can't believe how much cheaper England is for everything from clothes, household stuff, food except petrol which is unbelievable here!
  18. Hmm, good to know a ballpark figure for a decent salary. If one is single, what sort of salary is reasonable compared to living costs? Also, is it a good place to live if single?
  19. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    It's a great place to live if you like the sea, swimming every day in the beautiful clear blue Caribbean Sea takes some beating, diving, snorkelling or just hanging around in the sea! Our biggest decision, as a family, was should our first swim of the day be in the pool or the sea!
    I knew lots of single people who had a good time, although I don't know where the night life is. Most people go to bed much earlier over there and get up much earlier. You would never phone someone after 9 pm, and the roads can be busy from 7 am.
    It depends whether you would want to house share, or have your own place. I guess 35-40k is okay for someone on their own but you would need over 50 to live comfortably as a family.

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