Important advice for schooling in Jamaica - From London to Montego Bay

by Katherine Willoughby
(London, England)

QUESTION about: Schooling In Jamaica - Advice For immigrant students.

I’m currently living in London, England but will be in Jamaica from September to December 2016 so was hoping I could have an idea of what the process will be.

I have a few questions listed below if you could answer these I would be so grateful.

What are the term dates?

How much is it per term?

How much would uniform be?

Do you have any after school activities- Football club?

What information would you need from me to start the process- his school reports etc?

My son is 9 years old – 10 in November. This will only be for the 4 months as I’m over in Jamaica for work but would wish my son to still continue is education as it is important to me.

If I cannot enroll into a school I would love if anyone could provide maybe another scheme or guide me to where I could go for private tutoring etc?

Kind Regards

ANSWER: by Wellesley, April 2016

Hi Katherine,

Thanks for asking!
Let me answer the questions in the order you asked:

  • What are the term dates?

    Below is the term date, courtesy of the Ministry of Education:

    1. The first/CHRISTMAS TERM of the school year will commence on Monday, September 7, 2015 and end on Friday December 18, 2015. Christmas Holidays will be Monday, December 21, 2015 to Friday, January 1, 2016.

    2. The second/EASTER TERM of the school year will commence on Monday, January 4, 2016 and end on Friday, March 18, 2016. Easter Holidays will be Monday, March 21, 2016 to Friday April 1, 2016.

    3. The third/SUMMER TERM of the school year will commence on Monday, April 4, 2016 and end on Friday, July 8, 2016. Summer Holidays will be Monday, July 11, 2016 to Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

  • How much is it per term?

    The cost per term varies, depending on whether it is a public (government funded) or private school. For government funded schools, there is usually not a cost, but some minimal admin fees would need to be factored with books, lunch and other school supplies.

    Rates for private preparatory or primary schools in Jamaica can range from JMD 30,000 to JMD150,000 per term depending on the school.

    In most cases though, you probably could expect to pay 40,000-60,000 per term (all JMD)

  • How much would uniform be? shares this information about the typical costs for a child going to a public school in Jamaica:

    a) Uniform – $6000
    b) Books – $10,000
    c) Supplies – $2000
    c) Shoes – $5,000
    d) Bag – $4,000
    e) Donation/Auxillary Fees – $4000*


    Just one thing though, I suspect the cost of books is a bit small. I paid close to 30,000 last year for my child's books. She was preparing for GSAT (the exit exam).

  • Do you have any after school activities- Football club?

    We have lots of them! At almost all schools. Football, cricket, netball and athletics are usually the most popular ones but there are a host of other extra curricular activities including drama, speech, debating, chess etc.

  • What information would you need from me to start the process- his school reports etc?

    The following are usually the basic information required:

    1. The candidate's birth certificate
    2. The candidate's immunization card
    3. A passport-sized photograph (or two)
    4. The last school's report (if the case of transfers)
    5. A school medical report from a family doctor, & of course...
    6. A completed application form (for the school)

I am pretty confident that you'd be able to get your son in a school (especially a private one as the public ones has some stipulation/requirement for proximity) so you should be all set.

Worst case, reach back out to me for some personal recommendation (depending on where you are settling in the island.

I hope this helps my friend!
See also: The Education System in Jamaica

Wellesley Gayle,

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