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Please contact the Department at:
Department of Education Sport and Culture
Office +44 1624 685820
Who runs the education system in the Isle of Man?
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture, one of eight Departments of the Isle of Man Government. Together with other Departments, it is constituted under the Government Departments Act 1987. Its main responsibilities and duties are as set out in the Education Act 2001 and the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.
What is the role of the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture?
The Minister determines the policies of the Department as a whole and can delegate any of the functions of the Department to a member or any other person, in accordance with the Government Departments Act 1987.
What is the total budget of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and how is spending broken down?
The Department has a net revenue budget of £111.5 million in 2018-19, nearly half of which is spent directly on primary and secondary education. For more detailed information, see the Budget page.
How many staff does the Department employ?
As of Oct 2017, the Department employs 1974 people (1513.10 full-time equivalents), there are further people on the Department's supply and relief lists.
At what age must children attend school in the Isle of Man?
Compulsory education starts in the school year in which a child reaches his/her 5th birthday and ends at the age of 16.
What is the current school population?
The number on the register at schools fluctuates all the time but in September 2017 it stood at 11,710 - 6492 in primary and 5218 in secondary.
What do the key stages mean?
Children go through 4 key stages plus sixth form and the stages are explained below:
|School year||Age||School||or||Key stage|
How does the Isle of Man's education system differ from that in the UK?
The Isle of Man's education system has a number of close ties with the UK's, particularly in relation to aspects of the curriculum, and GCSEs and A-levels examinations are entered through UK examination boards. However, the Island has its own curriculum, Essentials for Learning, which affords a more holistic way of educating children to ensure they develop 'the 6 Rs' – readiness; relationships which are positive; resourcefulness; resilience; remembering skills and reflectiveness. There is strong emphasis on educating children about the history and culture of the Island.
Are Island schools subject to Ofsted inspections?
No. Instead schools are active participants in a system called School Self Review and Evaluation, in which schools mark themselves, 'significant strength', 'good', 'satisfactory' or 'requires action' in 10 areas and these are quality benchmarked by an independent validator who works with a senior officer to quality assure the school's judgments. The system is seen as a more productive and inclusive way of developing school excellence.
Can parents select which schools their children attend?
A catchment area system applies and pupils are usually expected to attend school accordingly. Catchment areas are set out in the School Catchment Areas Order 2010. Parents can apply for permission to send pupils to schools outside catchment areas. However, other than in exceptional circumstances, applications will usually be refused if the relevant class is already full or nearly full and pupils and further children living in the catchment area are expected to be enrolled during the course of the academic year.
Does the Department produce a league table of secondary schools?
No. Any such table would be misleading as it would emphasise just 1 aspect of student attainment when there are several key indicators of performance which help to provide a clearer and more balanced picture of how well schools and students are performing. A league table would also emphasise just 1 year when, in reality, each school has stronger and weaker year groups passing and results vary from year to year. External examination results offer 1 measure of school and student attainment: The Department is committed to developing young people holistically in terms of the 6Rs (Readiness, Resourcefulness, Reflectiveness, Resilience, Remembering and Relationships). The Department recognises the enormous range of activities in its schools that help to develop confident, well-motivated, balanced young people and recognises that the achievements of students are much broader than those things that might be measured in graphs.
How do Isle of Man schools perform against those in the UK?
What percentage of students aged 16 go on to further education?
More than half of Year 11 students return to the sixth forms of the DEC's 5 secondary schools and enter Year 12. A further 30%+ go into further education at the University College Isle of Man (UCM).
How many students are in higher education?
The Government has committed £10.3 million in 2017-18 to financially support approximately 1,500 students, studying at UK or overseas education institutions, at University College Isle of Man (UCM) or by distance learning. In addition to tuition fees support, approximately 25% of students qualify for some level of maintenance grant.