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Cayman Primary Post- Advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by liannajg, May 13, 2016.

  1. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    I've recently been offered a primary post (reception) in a government school. I've read a lot of very negative opinions on teaching in Cayman gov schools with regards to pupil behaviour and staff attitude and I wondered if anyone could comment on this.

    Also I am a single parent and would be taking my 4 year old. I can't afford private school fees- does anyone have experience of putting their child into cayman schools? I'm worried if the issues I've read about with regard to anti ex pats might apply to pupils. I'd hate for her to suffer...

    Also whether it is easy to meet people, settle in, survive on a single wage (approx 3900 CI$ per month) etc.

    I've read such negative things I'm starting to be put off, but I do want to know the realities before among a decision, so I would appreciate any comments- positive or negative!

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Are you sure you can't afford private school fees?
    FBCS WeeCare is $730 a month.
    Actually looked at Century 21 and there are still bargains but a property where I used to live is now nearly double what I paid (4 years ago) and your wage is about what I was paid. Find the caymannewresident website for really useful info.
    liannajg likes this.
  3. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    Hi 576, thanks for your reply,
    I thought living on a single wage would be quite a challenge as it was without school fees. Are local schools really that bad? In what way?
  4. lorienneale

    lorienneale New commenter

    As far as I was aware (lived there for 7 years) you cannot put your child in state ed. unless you are Caymanian. You are obliged to place him or her in Private does your employer not help with this?
  5. lorienneale

    lorienneale New commenter

    It is an amazing place to live. I think you'd regret not giving it a go!
    treefrog101 and liannajg like this.
  6. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    Wow That's £3299 per month. That's loads. Where do all you teachers find these jobs? And you think you couldn't survive on that and pay private tuition as the other poster says of $730. That still leaves you with about £2500 a month. Is it tax free? Do you have to rent yourself?
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    It is also one of the most expensive places in the world to live. Not sure how far that money will stretch
  8. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts!
    Lorienel- that is true but if you work for the government your child can take a school place if it's available.
    Musikteech yes it is a lot but with modest rents around £1200-1500 a month it won't go far by the time I've paid amenities and food...
  9. bchuckle

    bchuckle New commenter

    So, CI$3900 a month would go like this

    Rent - for a two bedroom place near, say, Walker's Road, c $1500 a month for somewhere not very fancy

    CUC Electricity - $250 a month, rising to maybe $350 in the summer if you run your AC a lot. And it will get excessively hot and humid from May to September.

    Food - around $800 a month for basic groceries. If you want your home comforts, maybe more. A pot of Waitrose Essential Houmous was about $4.50 a couple of years ago. There might be no income tax, but all retailers will price gouge. Shop at Cost U Less and Fosters, rather than Hurley's or Kirk's and you might reduce your bill a little.

    School Fees - don't put your child into a Government School, no matter what people say. Cayman Prep or Catholic around $1000 a month are your only real quality options. CIS a lot more. Triple C is cheaper, but a bit evangelical for my taste

    Cable TV/Internet - you may get TV as part of your rent on some complexes, but basic internet will set you back about $60 a month

    Mobile Phone. Topping up $10 should last you a week or so. Don't get a contract, it'll just be a nightmare

    Buying a car is an expensive venture - and there's no way you can survive without a car. Wherever you are, you'll be too far from any shops or supermarkets to just walk and the corner shop isn't really a concept.

    I had a 13 year old car that cost me $3500, which is about the bare minimum you can or should spend.

    Where are we at? $3500 so far, leaves you about $100 a week for anything else. A pint of beer is going to be $6 + 15% gratuity at Sunset House. Even a six pack of Caybrew is $11 from Blackbeards. A main course at somewhere mid to low market is at least $11 + grats. Flights to Miami start at about $400 - no low cost options.

    Cayman is a hard and horrible place sometimes. I had a good time, sometimes, but I would never go back. And working in a Govt School is a nightmare. Just read the Baseline Inspection Reports from a year ago.

    Oh, and all Caymanians will hate and resent you.

    There are plenty of amazing countries in the world to work and live and Cayman appears to be one of them, but it really isn't, unless you're filthy rich.
    liannajg and 576 like this.
  10. 576

    576 Established commenter

    bChuckle wrote

    There are plenty of amazing countries in the world to work and live and Cayman appears to be one of them, but it really isn't, unless you're filthy rich.

    I would say

    There are plenty of amazing countries in the world to work and live and Cayman appears to be one of them, but it really isn't, if you're working in a Govt school.
  11. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    I didn't realise you had to pay rent! I thought you would get rent free like you're supposed to teaching at international schools. So that knocks off £1000 of that £3000 or whatever it is in GBP. Plus all the list that buckle write, it isn't worth doing is it? Well it might be just about doable but doesn't look like you'll be able to save much. $250-$350 per month for electricity is too high. I can't believe it's that much! I looked at some restaurants on tripadvisor and there are a lot of expensive restaurants out there. If you need to get a car @ $3000 for an oldie, then that will be one month's salary almost. Plus what's to do there anyway apart from walk along the beach. you'd be stuck on that island with no way off it. If you could save £1000 a month I'd say do it, but looks more like saving £250.
  12. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Musikteech - there is no 'supposed to'.
    A) this isn't an international school. These are govt schools that recruit expat teachers from Jam, Bim and UK.
    B) every independent school is unique. Some people will tell you you lose out on pension when teaching abroad. That may be the case in many places but my school has a compulsory pension scheme - as do the Cayman Is Govt.
  13. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    thanks for that breakdown- that's really helpful.
  14. beans83

    beans83 New commenter

    Hi did you take the job? I have been offered a job and need to make my decision by Thursday! I'm a single 32 year old female currently living in London.
  15. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    Hi beans83

    Congratulations! No I turned it down in the end. It was a very hard decision but in the end it wasn't going to be financially viable for me. What school hsve they offered you? Are you going to do it?
  16. lbrown233

    lbrown233 New commenter

    Hi liannajg and beans83

    I am a Primary Teacher who is also looking for jobs in the Caribbean/Cayman Islands. Please can you PM any details of where I can find any vacancies. I have been looking for a few months and the only position I have seen is the SEN teacher vacancy which I believe beans83 has been offered! Congratulations by the way!

    Liannajg - I notice you have turned down the Cayman Island Job are you still looking abroad?
  17. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    Hi lbrown
    I found the job on the TES jobs page back in January. I wouldn't know where else to look. Caribbean jobs don't crop up very often it seems!
    I'm still looking...
    Good luck!
  18. musikteech

    musikteech Occasional commenter

    wow you turned down a £3299 a month job. How much are you expecting to make then? You won't get that in the UAE for example unless ur on that amount in the UK already. I don't know where you can get such a large offer anywhere else. It would have cost you a grand for rent and left you with 2299.:eek:
  19. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    There's more to teaching internationally than money. No amount of money can make up for living and working somewhere that is awful.
    lbrown233, zdaea and sabrinakat like this.
  20. liannajg

    liannajg New commenter

    @musikteech I have a young daughter who would need to be put in full time daycare as Reception chn can't go to local schools. (They can from year 1) The daycare fees are very expensive. I had to weigh that up with the logistics of being a single parent with no family support and a child in daycare. Many may not see that as a problem but it Just wasn't going to work for me and the package didn't do enough to compensate for that. Jobs in Dubai/Oman tend to pay school fees and accommodation/bills so it is better package even if less well paid.
    sabrinakat likes this.

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