Education Bill Dropped

The Education Bill has been dropped by the gov, Minister Dr Alex Allinson has confirmed.

Dr Al gave a statement to the House of Keys this morning to confirm the Bill will not be continued in its current form and has been withdrawn.

The new Bill has been heavily criticised inside and outside of Tynwald, with a committee chaired by former MLC David Cretney concluding in 2019 that the dept had ‘failed to gain the confidence of the staff working in the department’s own schools’.

An independent report into education in the island was also heavily critical of the DESC, you can read Gef’s coverage of that report here.

Dr Al told MHKs: ‘It is my intention not to progress the Education Bill. I will not be proposing that we debate the clauses but that teachers, officers and our community regroup to reflect on the journey we have made together over the last twelve months and seize the opportunities it has presented.

‘We have already begun to look at how we assess educational progress. With continuing uncertainty over exams this summer now is the time to ensure all our students sit the right exams in the future. We have started discussing policies, governance and methods of quality assurance so that the service we provide together supports educational attainment whilst being accountable to those it serves.

‘Whilst we develop educational opportunities, curriculums and the organisational structure of the department our attention will not be deflected from the key imperative to teach, inspire and enable those students who are our future. The department will continue to visit schools to support, advice and monitor outcomes. We will embark on the planned review on quality assurance at the same time as assuring the existing quality of the educational service we provide.

‘The recent consultation on a code for additional educational needs is being analysed and will help develop a code to be used by schools as a policy document and supported by a review of the resourcing of extra support. Through consultation the articles and model instruments of government that apply to schools will be developed to include agreed policies that will preserve, protect and enhance the learning environment in our classes and acknowledge the significant role our schools provide for wellbeing, culture, the arts and sport.’

You can read his full Keys speech here.