22nd January
Attended a meeting with Minister Tim Crookall CEO and various Heads of Department at the Department of Education and Children. The Isle of Man is rightly proud of its education system which consistently delivers far better than the UK, increasingly offering an expanding range of college and degree courses. Apparently we have signed up with Cambridge University for International GCSE with a three year transition from what has been a reflection of the UK System. This is a more traditional examination syllabus that does not suffer from whims of the UK curriculum and political change.

Staff count in the Department has fallen from nearly 2000 to 1750 this year although its not quite like for like as the Department now has other responsibilities including the Arts Council. In terms of finance in its peak year was expending £104 million per year with a trajectory of £114 million and this year spend £96 million and that has accommodated pay rises and will drop in the following year to £90 million.

Rationalisation and efficiency continue, so far front line services have been maintained, class sizes still compare well with the UK average.