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Dr Alex Allinson MHK announces new era for Education Service

Tuesday, 9 February 2021

The policies and strategies that will ensure the Isle of Man’s Education Service is fit for the future will be achieved through a culture of increased communication and cooperation with head teachers, the Minister for Education, Sport and Culture has announced.

On Tuesday, Dr Alex Allinson MHK, told the House of Keys the changes will spell a new era for the Education Service, and that the draft Education Bill will not be progressed.

In his speech, the Minister said his Department is working with the teaching profession to find the best way forward and that work on the Bill is not wasted.

Reviews on which exams pupils sit, how the quality of education is assessed and the governance of schools will be started.

Dr Alex Allinson MHK, said:

‘I believe we can and must do better. It is my intention to withdraw the Education Bill and give teachers, officers and our community the chance to regroup and reflect on the journey we have made together over the last year, and seize the opportunities it has presented together.

’We have listened to concerns of head teachers, parents and other stakeholders and we are working hard to build better relationships that will spell a new era with a common purpose.

‘Schools play a pivotal role at the heart of modern society, which has been further highlighted during the pandemic, and it is imperative that we are united in working to ensure our young people reach their full potential.

‘As we move forwards it is essential that our educational policies and procedures deliver a system we are all proud of, placing people, relationships and culture at the heart of everything that we do.’

The Education Bill was designed to replace the current Education Act 2001 and deliver an education system that is fit for the future, addressing a number of key issues.

These included the regulation of home education and catchment areas, the inappropriate use of social media, and school and pre-school inspections and tribunals.

Some of the main issues within the existing Act, including school inspections and student behaviour, will be addressed in the interim through secondary legislation.

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