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Isle of Man school leaders give independent review of DESC a cautious welcome

Today (Wednesday 23 September 2020), the long-awaited Independent Review of Management and Governance Arrangements in the Department of Education, Sport and Culture has been published.

NAHT, which represents head teachers and senior leaders in schools throughout the Isle of Man, has been calling for an independent review of DESC for some time, particularly in recent months when members were faced with an intransigent department and one that promoted a toxic culture within the education sector.

The independent review makes a number of important recommendations including: Review of Education Bill, Review of SSRE Framework/Inspection Regime, Review of Governing Bodies Structures, Review of Inclusion & Safeguarding funding, and Review of Exam Boards.

Rob Kelsall, NAHT national secretary, said: “The independent review findings and recommendations will resonate with head teachers and teachers who have been calling on government to listen to their professional concerns for some time. It’s a travesty that it took a dispute to highlight many of the issues covered in this report.

“The department lost the trust of the professionals leading our schools a long time ago and it’s crucial now that we reset the relationship and act upon these recommendations. We absolutely concur with the findings that cultural issues are at the root cause of the fractured relationship between the department and schools, which must be repaired and have gone almost entirely unchecked since the last independent review by Ofsted in 2002.

“We would welcome an early meeting with the Office of Human Resources, as recommended by the independent reviewers, to now resolve the long running dispute, and hope that this report, coupled with a resolution of the pay dispute, will mark a new beginning.

“School leaders will feel completely vindicated by much of the report’s findings and trust that a brighter future is in now store.”

Press and Media contacts:

Steven George
NAHT Head of Press and Media
01444 472886
07970 907730

Rose Tremlett 
Senior Press Officer 
07545 354363

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