Education is compulsory between the ages of five and 16 and is offered at the Department of Education and Children’s 34 primary schools and five secondary schools (see under Schools).
The Department of Education and Children also operates a number of pre-school units for children aged four and offers places for younger children in classes for five-year-olds where space permits (see under Early Years).
Although parts of the education system mirror those offered in the UK, the Isle of Man has its own curriculum, Essentials for Learning. This requires schools to focus not only on academic achievement but also to ensure children develop a wide range of social and interpersonal skills and the ability to be resilient, reflective and resourceful learners.
Teachers are continually assessing and monitoring the progress children make and use that information to plan their next steps in learning. Because of this continuous process of assessment there is no need for external testing until children reach Key Stage 4.
In Key Stages 4 and 5 children are able to access the normal range of external qualifications, such as GCSE and A Level, which are offered in UK schools.
The majority of 16-year-olds continue in education, either in their school’s sixth form or at the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education.
It is possible to study for further and higher education qualifications locally via the College and its University Campus.
For inquiries about the education system that are not answered on this website, please contact the Education Improvement Service on 01624 685796.
See also Mandate and Operational Context.