Cayman 27 – ARCHIVE

Principals highlight problems with implementation of Education Ministry school uniform rules

Cayman’s schools have been back to the business of the new term for three weeks now and while the new school uniform measures have been largely welcomed by the Principals at Clifton Hunter and John Gray, the implementation of the new rules has not all been plain sailing.

The new term brought with it new guidelines from the Education Ministry, which were aimed at delineating exactly how students should dress for school.

Headteachers know how important dressing for success is and, by and large, have welcomed the new policy. But Ms. Pauline Beckford, the Principal at CHHS, questioned why school leadership teams were left out of the consultation process.

She said she agreed with the uniform policy, but added: “I think it was disappointing that principals were not consulted prior to the policy becoming enforceable in schools.”

While frustrated at the lack of engagement, she said that, overall, the policy was pleasing.

“There’s a school of thought that the way you look doesn’t matter as long as your education is being addressed,” she explained, before emphasising, “I think they both go hand in hand… it’s a very important part of learning for young people.”

Her counterpart at John Gray praised the way students have engaged with the new policy.

“We greet the students off the buses in the morning,” Principal Jon Clark said, “and the majority of them are looking incredibly smart now.”

Among the new changes, pupils are no longer permitted to wear any jewellery, except for a watch.

Haircuts for boys have to be “short”, the interpretation of which has caused some problems, Mr. Clark said.

Cayman 27 has also learned of some students resorting to an unusual means of circumnavigating the new rules: a sudden conversion to Rastafarianism.

Mr. Clark laughed as he said that had not been his experience at John Gray, but said he was pleased to engage with students who “questioned the reason behind the rules.”

As the year progresses and schools get used to the new rules, we will see if the pupils can make the cut.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at or 326-2243.

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