NAHT IOM Education Pledge
NAHT IOM Education Pledge Credit: NAHT IOM Credit: NAHT IOM

I made a recording of the 2021 Douglas East Education Hustings which was held this evening. Only four candidates attended: Myself, plus also Joney Faragher, Peter Gilmour and Amanda Walker.

Forgive me if the audio is not very good: this was recorded on a small, handheld, audio recorder. No taxpayers funds were used by me to recording this meeting:

Rough Transcript

This is a very rough and unverified transcript of the 2021 Douglas East Education Hustings for Douglas East held on Wednesday 15 September 2021. 

You should not rely heavily upon it — it is transcribed by an automated speech recognition service, and I cannot guarantee its accuracy, especially because the audio isn’t great. Any local Manx words (especially in Gaelic) are more likely to be inaccurate. Also, the automated speech recognition service often converts proper nouns incorrectly (especially the spoken words “Isle of Man” to “Ireland” or “all of man”).

Before relying or quoting anything contained here, you should verify it against the underlying audio recorded hereTime Stamps and automatically-generated speaker names should help in the verification.

I obviously do not own the copyright in the underlying words (eg, whatever has been said by the speakers) and I am providing these transcripts because they are of self-evident public interest. I think that I do own the copyright in the adaption/conversion into written text. I’m happy to license these transcripts publicly under a free and very open Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.


Unknown Speaker 1:25
Okay, thank you everybody for coming this evening to the nh t hostings. housekeeping first fire exits, you can see to your left and right, we assemble around the front of the school, the toilets are actually upstairs and to the right as you go up the top of the stairs. So if you need those that are there, we’re not expecting a fire alarm. And so we should have the meeting without being disrupted. If you could turn your phones to silent or to switch them off, that will be really helpful. Thank you. We will be taking photos of the candidates. But we won’t be taking photos of anybody in this room just to let you know, in case you’re worried about that, and we’d like to thank the Golden Jubilee for hosting. It isn’t nht events are not school events, just to let me know you can probably tell from the corporate identity at the bottom here. And I would like to just thank all the candidates who are here for attending. I think it’s obviously there are seven candidates. But we are really grateful for the four view for turning up this evening. We have Joni faragher Pete Gilmore, Amanda Walker, and Michael Josem. So thank you for coming this evening. We really appreciate your commitment to education by actually coming this evening and being willing to answer questions about education. We don’t have a political fund, and we’re not affiliated to any party or any candidate. We’re proud of our independence and want to see an election that puts children and education at the top of its priorities. education should be seen as an investment and not burden on the Treasury. Penny ht puts young people at the heart of everything we do. And we have produced the manifesto for what we feel needs to be focused on, especially in this education in education in this election. The manifesto is available online. And we have sent copies to all the candidates who are standing in all the constituencies this year. And basically they are meeting the needs of all children wellbeing, funding, and recruitment and retention. We’ve also invited all the candidates around the island to take a pledge to work with the profession. And we thank those who have already done so. If you have a chance there is one more of these events happening in Ramsey tomorrow. So if you can advertise that with friends who may be living in the north of the islands at lght, underscore Isle of Man and there’s a hashtag there for hashtag your choice. Hashtag nh t IOM pledge hashtag IOM general election, and I will have that address if you want to later up. For this evening, each candidate, they’ve just taken lots so I don’t know which order they’re in but they do. Well have three minutes to make an opening statement about the aspirations and visions for education. And then we will move on to questions from the audience. Each candidate will have an opportunity to answer there is a timekeeper here, Laura is timing and she will give a 32nd warning if you’re getting near to your time limit. So each candidate will talk in turn according to the number they’ve drawn from the lot. When it comes to the question. The second person who speaks will go first and we will rotate it around so each person gets a chance to answer first there will be no have rich sorry. After we’ve gone through the questions from the floor, there will be a summing up time for each candidate for two minutes at the end, and I think that’s all I need to tell you about. So I would like to invite our first candidate who is joining faragher, just to have your thoughts on education.

Unknown Speaker 5:24
Thank you. Well, good evening, everyone, and thanks for coming along. My name is Jody Farrago, I grew up in Douglas, I attended three fine Douglas schools. And I went to university after that, and then I came back and completed a teacher training degree via our own ucn here on the island. I currently work as across the islands, schools with children, young people who are bereaved. By way of my background, I’ve always worked in education and social care settings. And those those roles really have been really influential in forming my my policies, my ethos and my principles. I’m really fed into that. I’m also the leader of the Manx Labour Party. And that’s really relevant, I think, because education investment in education is a core principle of labour movements globally. And obviously, we’re no different to that. I firmly believe that good quality education is at the core of solving inequality. In my Manifesto, I stated that I would like to see us raise the investment in education up to 4% of GDP, which is only in line with most developed countries, we’re lagging way behind, around about less than half of that. So it’s not even particularly ambitious. But that’s where I’d like to start. So I guess what I’m saying with all of this is I think I’m approaching this from an angle of experience and understanding. And I hope that I am. And I just want to finish up by saying that I read the nht Manifesto, with great interest. And I think that it’s hit all the key points. That from my experience in schools that I see are being a result of the or the impact of underfunding year on year on year inclusivity well being, recruitment and retention of staff, you know, we really need to start addressing these issues. So thank you for this opportunity. Thank you. Thank you, Julie. And I like to ask Amanda Walker, for your introduction.

Unknown Speaker 7:32
Okay. I’m Amanda Walker, I’ve been a teacher for 36 years. And for the last year, I’ve spent eight months working in a social care context as an Education Officer. And during my teaching career, I’ve concentrated mainly on secondary education. And in most recent period, I’ve been working with post 16 young people as well as the the younger people who’ve been in custodial care, and children in care. And obviously, education is a huge priority for me, not only have I got a vast amount of teaching experience, I’ve also got three daughters, and two of whom were educated in this building, and all three of whom are University educated as well. So it’s clearly a huge priority. For me, I think that we have had during the last administration, an extremely adversarial approach towards education. And we had the twin problem of a government that had an will certainly in the department of education that had a very adversarial approach and the COVID pandemic. I think the island’s teachers suffered horrendously from a lack of direction from the department. They were expected to adapt and work in a completely different way, and often vilified, particularly on social media, and received a rendus bashing from people who had expectations that they were going to get a full time childcare service whilst they were trying to do their own jobs. That’s not the purpose of education at all. And I think that the mental health and well being of an awful lot of teachers suffered hugely, and particularly in the secondary sector, the ability of Island schools to adapt to the completely new scenario that they were faced with was very, very varied. Some schools had specialists who were able to give input and training online to the other teaching professionals, other schools, teachers were largely left to their own devices. And I actually resigned in the summer term of the first impact of the COVID pandemic. I am not an IT literate person. And I did deliver online learning I kept in regular contact with my students, particularly my GCSE students, and I found that it had a hugely detrimental effect on my health. Because I found the to the time necessary to speak to every child online, as I was doing regularly meant that my part time three day a week job was actually filling my entire life. And I know many other teachers who felt the same way. We would get angry emails from parents that we haven’t marked work online within 24 hours, when the school’s clear marking policy was that you Had a two week window to mark students work teachers have, on average in secondary school around 300 students that they work with every week. So to be able to react in that timeframe is ridiculous. At the same time we were having the NHS being absolutely praised, and who, yes, they had a very difficult job and I do not diminish what nurses do. I was married to one for 30 years, his life was not altered at all. But the pandemic is working working practices were identical. He wasn’t in the COVID facing environment. And we had no impact teachers suffered and her rendus impact. And we’ve got to look at not just the well being of pupils, the well being of our staff, which is a key issue on the number of teachers that we’ve lost over the last 18 months. Okay, now we pass over to Pete Gilmore.

Unknown Speaker 10:47
Okay, I think a lot 59 I’ve got two children, two boys, and two grandchildren. I went to Wilson private school a bollock mean, sitting Indians, I did the last boys over the year of alchemy, and then discovered girls school pathway. However, so I left school at 16. And I did an apprenticeship with what’s now the VA in high voltage, electricity distribution. Then I joined the Air Force and I did another apprenticeship I did nine years in the Air Force. And I kind of left school with a bad balance, I didn’t have a good experience. I didn’t film school. But the moment I went to the college, started studying but I was interested, I was top of the class. And then I, the segment, I was in the Air Force. And then I went, I’ve gone a long way off, I did an agency that night, when I left, when I was left the Air Force, share space. And then I left I went as a mature student, and I did it by accredited Bachelor of Engineering. I’ve also done an MBA in international business, half a degree in physics with the EU, and numerous different certifications in Microsoft. and project management, all kinds of stuff. So I’m kind of coming from this to you, because all I’ve heard about this adversarial situation we’ve got and it clearly is is what we’ve heard on the news from the unions and what we hear from what governments say. So I’m actually here to learn. But I’m also here to kind of represent the business because there’s been a survey done with the Alabama Chamber of Commerce. And a lot of businesses are finding that school leavers are not leaving with the right skills. So in terms of the pledge, by the support most of the pledge, but I don’t think it’s complete. So what where I would come from is what I would like to do is set up an economy wide group that doesn’t includes educators, government, and business, because we all need to feed together. I think when I left school, the choices were known as former astronauts, that kind of thing. I’ve worked for 52 different companies where they’re contracted. And some of these are big companies. Maersk, Denmark, Hewlett Packard. So that’s where I’m coming from. I’d like to see this pledge expanded, give a commitment, that, of course, education is important. So as lifelong learning, so as business, this all needs to be joined open, I think we do all need to work together. And that’s where I think I could make a difference by coordinating. Thank you. And last but not least, we pass over to Michael,

Michael Josem 13:42
thank you for having me here tonight. Thank you to each of you for coming along. And thank you to the candidates for coming. And one of the things that we have all here in common is a shared love and a shared interest for our students. And that’s really what the game is all about. It’s about what is right for the learners. And so, in so the thing that that that I love about the NIH T is is while they are a union, obviously, of the staff, you know, right in the banner there it says philetus for learners as well. And that’s focus. And, and I think that, you know, listening to, to the the dilemmas and the problems that have arisen in the in the education system, especially from from a very overly centralised control over the last few years, is that the government has lost focus that it’s about the learners. It’s about students. You know, the other the other day, as part of this canvassing thing are speaking to family, not far from shoprite or from Victoria road with a family of two, four and six years old. And, and they these three children are going to go throughout our schooling, the schooling is going to change the direction of their lives. And it’s going to be really important for them to have an effective schooling that accounts for them. Not just a as as as widgets on a conveyor belt, but as humans as unique angels, and as unique learners. And so I thank you to each of you for coming on tonight. I’m so excited to listen to you. Again, I see so many familiar faces here. And it’s it’s great to see those those faces again, in so I don’t I don’t want to go too long. But let’s let’s get on to it. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 15:21
thank you very much. Thank you. So other candidates for their introductions? As I said before, we will take questions from the floor. Each candidate has two minutes to answer those. And then there is a right to reply up to two minutes from the question, if they say wish, at the end of that, after all the companies have spoken. So the first question, we’ll go to Amanda, first. Have we got any questions for our candidates? Yes.

Unknown Speaker 15:46
Okay, I’m not a teacher. But I’ve got a first and I’d like your views on it. It’s quite both. I’d want teachers classroom teachers to have their salaries doubled, is the one thing. The second thing is, I would also want teachers to reapply for their jobs every five years. And the benefits of this isn’t just for the education of the children, it’s also to send them a positive message to the UK to entice a lot of families over here who want to invest in their children. And I think overall, it would have a huge benefit to the island. I’d like to know your views.

Unknown Speaker 16:24
I don’t think teachers would actually want a doubling of their salaries necessarily, I think what they would like is about 30%, which would restore them to where they would be if they had received inflation linked pay rises over the last period of time since that since they’d had inflation linked pay rises, I think what most teachers would prefer is to see an uplift in their salaries and to see the rest of the investment going into schools and improving education for the for the learners. And I think your idea about having to reapply for your job every five years, we effectively do that every year. And because teachers on the Isle of Man are put through the appraisal process every year, that appraisal process and extremely negative experience because there are no potential benefits to it. All it can do is prevent you from rising up the pay scale from having the recommendation to rise at the pay scale. It cannot give you any performance related uplift at all. There’s no mechanism for that whatsoever. We also have never had advanced skills teachers on the Isle of Man which they have had in the UK. So there are a number of reasons why teachers in the Isle of Man are are treated depth detrimentally compared to UK teachers, maternity and paternity rights are not as good in the Isle of Man as well. And compared to some of the other jurisdictions like Northern Ireland, for example, there’s no opportunity for sabbaticals there used to be an opportunity for a sabbatical, but there isn’t any longer. So I think teachers it was the adversarial approach from the government was very much in projecting the dispute between the unions and the government as a pay dispute. It most certainly wasn’t it was a dispute about pay amongst a whole range of other issues relating to conditions and recruitment and retention. And the pensions issue, as a teacher’s pension was largely seen by the public as lumped in with public sector. So you know, I think what we would like to see is Oh, yes, investment and investment in teachers and giving them a reasonable pay rise so that they have not been treated detrimentally as they clearly have been previously, but to see major investment into education, and that would attract people from the UK, our examination results compare very, very favourably with the UK, if you look at GCSE GCSE and a level results, and there are Centres of Excellence, particularly for a level across the island, and UCM. Also, in Creative Industries, okay.

Unknown Speaker 18:36
I think if any job that you spent a lot of time and effort on and so it’s only going to last five years, you find it very difficult for a bank to give you a mortgage, you’re very insecure employment. Lots of questions, like for the jobs every five years, I think that that could be quite damaging to the profession. I think the particulars are assessed every year anyway. So like in most jobs, if you’re not very good at your job, maybe it’s the assessment situation that should maybe change. I don’t know. That’s for salaries who don’t. But I think I can understand the 30% inflation that’s necessary. But I think sometimes we keep talking about the living wage, you have to go up that minimum wage have to go the inflation going up. Government have a lot more control over inflation on the other man than they do in many areas. We’re a closed environment, we can control our housing costs, we can control our costs of travel, you know, the freight, etc. They don’t seem to do that. And I think we should be trying to drive inflation down so that teachers pay is actually worse off than it isn’t being eroded by inflation. So no, I disagree with the changing jobs every five years. I agree with regular assessments.

Michael Josem 19:54
Thank you very much. I noted Mike. Thanks. So the question there about pay I think the problems that face that face us as a learning community is not just about money and money is important. You know, and that’s why I disagreed with this government’s decision to cut pay budgets for workers in education earlier this year, you know, 23, out of 24, members of the House of keys, said I, when I when I voted in favour of cutting the pay budgets this year, in apart from 1%, and I, you know, I disagreed strongly with that at the time. I disagreed with that today. And so what we’ve got to do going forward is, first of all, stop cutting the pie budget serve central essential workers, at times when when inflation is high to begin with. And so in that sense, I’d love to pay for teachers more, I think, I think that’d be great. But But when I speak to the teachers on the doorstep, the things that they tell me is that is that is that money is important to a certain extent. But what is important more than anything else is to be treated with respect, and be treated with dignity, and to be valued for the work that they’re doing. And so in so that answer and so I think there is a degree of opportunity pay pay staff more, but I’d like to see, you know, if we had some imaginary bucket of funding, I’d like to say increase support to students with special educational needs. Because they, you know, many students who are outside the mainstream, are falling off the conveyor belt in that we we, you know, essentially what is the schooling system here and in 2020, in the Isle of Man is people go into boxes. And, and, and we’ve got to get out of that we’ve got to, you know, recognise as a, there’s a great deal of variety in our students in so in the imaginary bucket of money, I’d much rather give that to, to support students with unusual and special needs. Thank you, Michael. And just pass over now to Joe.

Unknown Speaker 21:46
Yeah, I mean, it’s an interesting question, thank you for raising it. I mean, I think the idea of raising Teachers Pay is a good one. And what it has to be doing really, because the cost of living on the Isle of Man is a kid to to London, and we pay teachers basically northwest of England salary. So that just doesn’t really doesn’t really tie up. I’m not sure about doubling their salary, I would imagine that most teachers, certainly myself would like to see that money put into actually investment in education overall. And to boost the tick boxes, I guess, at the NHTSA broad and narrow Manifesto, in terms of well, being both of staff, and of children, and the retention of staff. As for the idea of them reapplying for their job every five years. Well, I mean, I can obviously see where you’re coming from with that. But I don’t think that it would provide the teacher security that we need. What we do need to be doing is making our to our teaching profession, a more attractive workforce to be part of, and I don’t think that actually forcing them to to be applied every five years for the role that they’ve been sitting in would would do that, really. So thank you. You happy with this responses? Have

Unknown Speaker 23:03
you got happy responses? The doubling was so obvious Mr. Episode emphasises the point that for teachers to be more valued in comparison to other professions, because it’s good for students to see about the community, society, places evaluation. coaches do themselves value education. But

Unknown Speaker 23:27
you could also say the same thing microsecond versus, you know, and then keyworkers as an argument,

Unknown Speaker 23:33
yes, yes. I’ve also really been trying to utilise the leash position, the older man house.

Unknown Speaker 23:41
The automatic can stand out in 1000s of different ways. But it’s important that he chooses some ways to be really bold, just understand out because the effect of that being an island in the UK, this Messiah does, you know, is going to be amplified. So there are lots of fringe benefits as for replying to their jobs, I think if the capitalism suggests that the current appraisal system may not be ideal, I don’t have I don’t want to cause insecurity and anxiety among teachers. But it’s my perception. And I suggest it’s perception, many others, that there are teachers that are failing, and they just continue to fail. They don’t get the support, but they stay in their positions. And it’s the children that is out and the end of the day,

Unknown Speaker 24:32
can I respond to that? There are very robust systems in place where the teacher is perceived to be failing. They there are very, very robust systems in place that to put in support for them, and to ensure that they get additional training, that they’re allowed to go and observe other colleagues to see them in action and to see the areas that they might need to improve upon. It’s actually quite a subjective thing to decide whether a teacher is failing or not. So for example, in a large secondary school, you may have two teachers teaching the same subject there. may have streaming, the person who has the top set is obviously going to get superb examination results, the person who’s got the bottom set is going to struggle far more. And even if you use the value added indicator, the value added, for very, very bright children is an awful lot easier to achieve than it is for children who still suffer with basic literacy. And when you were saying about making ourselves unique, I think the opportunity that we have is far more to not model what happens on the adjacent Island, but to actually look far wider. And with the enormous amount of Viking heritage that we have, for example, in the Isle of Man, I think we could look at the Scandinavian countries and the wellbeing models that they have, and some of the examination models that they have as well, because we’re about to in the next administration, review and implement the education bill. And I think that’s a tremendous opportunity to have to look at something far more progressive and dynamic. And because we are a small space, we’ve also got the opportunity to look at something that would be far more attractive, would gain an awful lot of media attention, and wouldn’t be what we’ve done previously, which is using a model of examinations at 16. That is not fit for purpose for a lot of our students, because it’s a very narrow academic focus, which resembles CSE, far more than it resembles the new numbered examinations that have been introduced in the UK. It’s entirely content based and doesn’t allow students to demonstrate their skills and abilities and it heavily favours highly academic children. Thank you very much. Yeah, very famous Scandinavian model. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 26:24
Okay. Do we have any, any other questions from the floor? Anybody else? Yes. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 26:30
So obviously, we’re not teachers or anything like that work with students in the in the UCM. And I’ve got to say, from our point of view, we’ve suffered quite a bit. Because of the lack of funding that we’ve received and trying to live on the, there was a young person outside and off, I went, I left school quite early, went to work on them and back to education. And I fought for three years now. To have my stepfather taken off my platform. I live alone, I support myself, I, you know, I work nights or weekend to pay, I suppose it’s just as, as higher education students, we need more support, we need more housing, we need more in teaching, because because my court has options. And, of course, we can’t have the options to pick from because it’s not an actress. So I thought we should feel kind of limited down as higher education students. So it’s sort of the panel’s approach on what they would do for us as students. Okay, so what would you do as a higher education? Sorry, can I just add to it, it’s, it’s more.

Unknown Speaker 27:36
So on your point of view, it’s just a bit of a gap in the funding and stuff for people that have they’re under 25. So we’ve been fighting this, we were told to go to the Benefits Office and things and you can’t under the age of 25, there’s a hole for people that don’t like don’t live at home for under 25 and need funding, but because they’re under 25. And my parents are still around. There was just no funding was there. And then we were told to go to benefit where they said, No, it’s just being really difficult. And then to have all of that stress on top of finding housing over here. It’s we didn’t know, we tried to speak to our people, and it was just like hitting a brick wall repeatedly. Nobody could help us at all could those so you work nights, both nights, all weekend on a five day course. And I work and I’m a full time

Unknown Speaker 28:31
course as well. Okay, so the candidates, the questions about the gap in funding for 18 to 25 year olds. What causes you stop security, mental health nursing. So mine’s different. Mine’s not maintenance tested. But she says,

Unknown Speaker 28:49
Yeah, like, I work in it. My programming, SQL and Python R and stuff. cybersecurity, highly did demand big salaries. So the government kind of watching you, for what for what reason you could be called quite a big tax payer, I think pbV allowed to do. I think there’s a lot of families in different situations. I got divorced many years ago, people get divorced. Some parts of the parents, some parents have potential partners, others won’t and honestly talk about my own situation that that does happen. I think the full name should be around the students really. And I don’t I don’t see why. You have to worry about somebody who may or may not be contributing, you need to just say what the contributions are. You’ve got and if it’s not made, it’s not enough. It needs to be totaled on one of my major priorities is the economy and the loss of your workers since 2011. We’ve been used to losing 40% of the people I do going to the UK Everywhere, not coming back, the islands becoming a gated community we don’t for older people, and we’re financially cleansing a lot of the youngsters here. So we don’t sort out the house, if we don’t sort out the cost of travel, if we don’t diversify, and offer more jobs for people like yourself, don’t leave, and who’s going to be paying the tax in 2030 years time? So in terms of the funding model, I think it should be around you, not about the people around you. In the end. Okay. Michael,

Michael Josem 30:33
thank you. First of all, there’s the question of the benefits and the support that you receive, and that the government mistakenly considers you dependent on your parents, even though you are obviously independent. And so that is because the government uses this blunt figure of if you’re 24 years old, then you’re independent. If you’re 23 years and 11 months, you’re dependent, which is which is not not a good, it’s a bad proxy for independence, right. And so other other other nations and many nations, they have a benefit system that uses more complicated and more discerning evaluations to determine whether or not you’re depending on your parents. And we need to fix that, right like that is that is simply that, that someone who is 20 year old and his estranged from their parents, is in a very different financial situation to a 20 year old who’s living over the counter. That’s, that’s the, that’s the benefit from we got to fix that by having a better definition of independence. And then the second issue here relates to the vocational support and vocational training. And so unfortunately, this year, the government increased the fees for for students at UCM increase the fees for adults who are wanting to return to the GCSEs. Right. And so we have, you know, unfortunately, we have a, a group of image guys who, when they, when they saw the budget this year that the springs were nodding in the back of their head, and they nodded it along and, and 23 out of 24, voted in favour of increasing fees that use 23 out of the 24 voted in favour of these changes. And so that’s why we need to have a proper a better discussion if this is a community, because the budget this year was was was published at about 10am, it was voted through at 5pm. And we need to scrutinise these things in public, because because democracy dies in darkness, drains darkness. And we need to open this up and to the public. So that so that we can address these things, as exactly as you describe your living embodiment of why we need to exist. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 32:25
Thanks. Yeah, the issue is really one of the lack of opportunity or inequality in opportunity. It’s existed for a long time. And it’s it’s quite surprising and shocking, really, that it hasn’t been addressed in the past, because it is an issue that’s been brought up repeatedly this gap in funding for education. So I mean, quite simply, my answer would be that that gap needs to be clogged, it has needed to be put for a long time, but we can’t talk about lifelong learning. And looking after our young people, and all of these, you know, aspirations that we we want to be as an island, if we’re actually if we have this huge gap where people have to either wait for a few years so that they can class as a mature student in order to proceed with their education, or, or they can just sort of languish in poverty whilst whilst they’re actually in education. And neither of those options is acceptable. So that got me super blocked. Thanks for your question. It was a really good one. Thank you. And Amanda,

Unknown Speaker 33:27
there’s two things I’d like to say about it. Number one, and at university education. When I went to university, it was free for everybody at the point of delivery. Not only that we have means tested grants. And as one of four children of working class parents and being the first person in my family to go to university, I had a full maintenance grant, that for maintenance grant for my three year course, meant that when I went on to do my PGC, after I’d done my three year course, when I took my first job, I have the deposit for my house because I’ve been able to save enough out of my grant, because I worked part time and it my holidays. On top of that my eldest daughter had a free university education with the fees paid, I was able to support her with her living costs and she graduated absolutely debt free. My middle daughter only owes debt to the Isle of Man government because she has to pay back the amount of money that was advanced by the government for her tuition fees as a loan. You have no other loan debt because she worked throughout the time she was at university. There is a huge disparity in funding between students who choose to go across to study and students who are at UCM you see and is fundamentally flawed as a university setting in that it has no accommodation block in the 2016 election when I stood. I said the nurse’s home was a clear thing that could be made into an accommodation block. It has lain empty Since then, the Park Road site is another area that could be used as an accommodation block very easily. It’s central to town and the I think phenomenally unsalable Summerland site could also be used as an accommodation block it would give you access to all of the nighttime economy along the front As young people, we’re not going to attract overseas students to make UCM actually a university that can make a profit. So it runs at a huge loss. That’s why the fees have been increased. And I also think that the issue of independence from parents, your your both of your courses are in areas where we desperately need people with your skills. So we should look into proper partnership and sponsorship with companies who, and obviously with the health service, who people, people want you ultimately, so they should support you through the course to ensure to ensure that you’re unable to study properly and not exhausted.

Unknown Speaker 35:31
Yeah, I quit, our biggest issue has been no student accommodation. Now we have a university and nowhere for us to live have government owned empty buildings, six months of stress of trying to find somewhere to live house on that, because it’s it’s just impossible. It really is,

Unknown Speaker 35:47
we’ve got lucky. In the end of the day, we got lucky with things we dread to think of what happens to people who don’t have the fortitude or the ability and the look that we’ve had,

Unknown Speaker 35:56
there were probably more of a rare situation, people coming in at home more with their families when you stay on the island. But for the people like those, well, we’re more in the minority, we really did slip through quite a bit.

Unknown Speaker 36:10
Talking about the area, do you know this study and you’re doing this is short sighted because if you guys feel forced to go to the UK, you’ll be paying 10 or 15,000 pounds a year in taxes. And I if you’ve been very few years on that course, it’s very much in demand. So it’s so short sighted.

Unknown Speaker 36:29
And I think it’s the again, the lack of maintenance testing. So for my course we get a grant every single month, it was a bursary every moment, but it’s not enough, because a lot of people that study here are mothers, and that you know the people with kids, and it’s not enough for them to live on. And then for years, it’s just not really, we’re really maintenance tested, it’s been about three years of going in to the Grant’s office asking for them to change what’s on the show, it’s eventually got one pair of taken off, but not the other. And so you really don’t get anything, it doesn’t cover anything, you get a bit every turn. And that’s it doesn’t do anything. Thank you for your questions.

Unknown Speaker 37:11
Could I just make one little quick response, that one of the things about funding, the size and scale of the Isle of Man is such that we should be able to have something that looks at each individual because we’ve got Rhode Island of 8584 and a half 1000 people approximately, we haven’t had the latest census through so it shouldn’t be computer says no, and that there’s only one response to it, it ought to be properly responsive. And it shouldn’t be that you’re ping pong from department to department and have to fill in enormous amounts of paperwork when most of your data is already on government databases.

Unknown Speaker 37:40
Thank you very much. So do we have any other questions from the floor? Why do I have a head teacher in the branch secretary for now he chose to play that and obviously represent a large body of teachers, senior leaders and middle leaders in school costing in just overall it’s time that the election will be held. And two of your your number will go on

Unknown Speaker 38:13
to the house of keys at which point there’ll be conversations about whether you’re going to accept positions in departments is that the work of government has allocated that number,

Unknown Speaker 38:22
I guess what I’m interested in it is and I’ve been to lots of hospitals, that public returns all puffed out, man, I just want to look into the people’s eyes around the table and see who is passionate about education, who is chomping at the bit to get our hands on education and to do something really exciting and significant to our families, young people in Milan to know if it’s in your heart and your soul, and convince me that you are capable that Stanford education. Thanks for joining me. And it’s my call to close this.

Michael Josem 38:59
Thank you. Yeah, thanks, Max. In so absolutely. And, you know, my very first full time job was as President of the Student Union at Monash University back in Australia when I was young, and what I loved about that was making a real difference to people’s lives. Because that is such an, you know, the education system that we have here in our schools we have at UCM that we have, you know, if we’ve students go across for learning elsewhere, is it it’s a platform it’s a runway for people to take off and and and the I love the idea of the of the Isle of Man being a shining beacon in the sea when the rest of the world is facing stormy weather. And my firm belief is that the very first part of that is is like every any lighthouse that needs to be built on solid foundations. And one of those really core foundations is education. That’s why you know, you know, my my very first full time job was it was in doing that and that leadership that’s why I think I was the correct me if I’m not odd might have been the very first candidate in the whole nation to sign up to the ni Ah t pledge because because all of this stuff, and it’s good fun because it makes a difference. And that’s what we’re all here to do is to make a difference. Thank you,

Unknown Speaker 40:08
Michael. And over to Joanie. Thanks. Yeah, I mean, I can only go back to kind of voicing my introduction, really, I’ve always worked in educational or social care roles. I’ve trained teacher that work across the schools now. I see the issues daily, I see the impact upon our children, young people. And I see the impact upon staff of year on year budget cuts, and and what that’s doing to up to our island schools, and what that’s doing for our future. Because that that, ultimately, is what education is all about. It’s about our future. And like I’ve said, before, education is so important because it’s at the absolute core of solving inequality. We have, we do have an inequality issue on the island, that that depth disparity between the top and the bottom needs to come back into level. It’s never going to be like that, and I appreciate that. But it does need to get closer together. Because of damage it does to our societal structure. It does have impacts upon educational attainment, it has impacts upon mental health, criminality to pregnancy, drug and alcohol misuse in later life. So solving inequality is, is the absolute concept on which I stand as thankfully the party leader. So really, education is one of my top priorities. I do have four top priorities, but it is one of my four top priorities. And yeah, but but what more can I say? Thank you. Thank you, Jeremy. And over to Amanda.

Unknown Speaker 41:41
Right. So I absolutely fundamentally believe that education is power. And I think it gave me a huge uplift I as I previously said, I came from a working class background, I almost didn’t go to university, thanks to my father. Because in the olden days, when I went, you had to fill in Lucasfilm manually. And when I handed my form into the head of sixth form, I was summoned to her office, because my father had written in red ink in the box that said, father’s occupation, Harry asked Vitor, What’s it to you, it’s her brain you should be interested in. So you know, I’m somebody who has definitely come from a background that did not particularly value education. I think, unfortunately, the previous administration did not particularly value education did not fully understand it, and certainly did nothing to address the inequality agenda. And in terms of passion, it’s my number one priority, I think the climate change thing is an overarching thing and has to be of interest to everyone. But if we don’t get education, right, we are going to fail population long term. And it has been done to wrong for too long. And it does need fundamental reform. And with the new education bill, which I would very much hope to be part of drafting, then we have a real opportunity to do something that will make a dramatic, forward looking change. And I certainly don’t want to waste money doing retrospective recrimination, reviews of things that have already happened, I think we need to build a positive future, we need to make positive change. And we need to ensure that you people like yourselves, get the opportunities to really contribute to the art of man and see yourself having a future here. Thank you. Lastly, owns Pete.

Unknown Speaker 43:11
Well, of course, it’s very important to the engine room of the economy, if we are producing people that we need a good product coming out of school that can then become entrepreneurs that can actually work in businesses, that they then pay taxes and insurance, national insurances that pay for all the services that we need. So it is critical that that educated unseen, as a very key factor. I think it needs to join up the business. Like I said, I think we we do need to have that conversation, business, government and educators all together, get together. I think what we need is somebody it’s not just what one person might think, you’ve got to carry alongside you and other 23 which case if they all have an opinion as well. I think I would find very passionate about it. Because I’ve studied all my life. That’s not a year I haven’t studied, I’m studying now at the age of 59. On eight modules through I’ve got one more module to do for the Harvard University data science professors difficult. I’ve studied all my life, of course, it’s important. If you go into fight this gentleman, we go into cybersecurity, he is just committed to lifelong learning. You know, if you became like trician, not too much that then you move into it. And you’ve got to remember now that 90% of jobs involve it costs. It’s important, and it’s the foundation that links into lifelong learning. And one of the things that hasn’t come up but I wanted to ask your opinion, actually, I wonder if, if it is a components of 19th century jobs, why is it not a core subject? We’ve got maths, English and science, why it’s not it itself. I know. We do elements that are See with different courses. But I think it’s time we started to think that that’s where we need to go to school. Thank you very much. Okay, do we have any more questions? Yes. Hi. I live in Tbilisi, so I’ll be voting

Unknown Speaker 45:19
problem we had teacher. So I’d like to talk a bit more about funding, meeting the needs of all children and the reality on the ground. So there’s a significant funding gap in schools on the art of mountain schools are facing challenges of limited staffing, capacity, and resolve. So, for example, I went to the primary school that I lead now, as a child, I want to walk them some of the furniture was there from 1980. So another example is, in private schools, we currently have one teacher, her class, this is how the staffing is made up. And a very small number of support staff, usually, to support SEO, possibly one to one. Um, just to give you an idea of the exact situation, we have 300 children in my school, for support staff for sem, one teacher per class, there’s no one else. Today, I was grappling with the problem, that we have sports coaches coming in, and we need to get the children changed. The sports coaches can’t change the children. That’s just part of the deal. So today, we’re gonna actually who is going to do this, this is just getting gets changed to take part in sport, you know, and I’m excited that I’m while I’m at safe garden briefing, we’ve got any other every other member of staff is engaged. It’s taken quite well, today to come up with a solution. So this compares gravity unfavourably with other jurisdictions. I did some research once online, found out all the schools and other jurisdictions with similar contacts, similar number of pupils, and looked at their staffing structures. Well, we, it’s a disgrace, we’re lagging behind, we can’t, we certainly can’t meet the needs of the children with the stuffing that we have. We really need teachers to meet the needs of the children. As I said, I’d go so far as to say it’s a funding crisis. And it’s all about investment. We’ve touched on it tonight, we want our young people to achieve be successful, and benefit from a world class education system, which that line is often thrown out about the moment but a world class education system, the reality is even looking around this hole in health, the ladders and everything that needs lots of upgrading inside here. So my question is, are you willing to support a review and commit towards actually securing appropriate funding from Treasury? We know what Treasury say? They’re gonna say no. So I would like to know, are you willing to go to Treasury to argue the points? I’ve given you some examples in comments or skills? and have a look? Are you willing to do that? Can you explain, you know, what you thought about it?

Unknown Speaker 48:12
Okay. Thank you for your question. We’ll start with Germany this time. It wasn’t prepared for that. Sorry.

Unknown Speaker 48:18
That’s okay. And, yeah, thanks for your question. I know, we’ve touched on quite a lot of it this evening, really? First of all, the answer to your question, yes, absolutely, I would be prepared to fight the corner of education. It really is. It’s shocking to see the disparity between our service in the UK, but our educational outcomes, you know, are not comparatively low, which is all down to the dedication of our teachers and education staff. And that, you know, that in itself, really just tells you what, what’s what people have been going through in order to, to look the gaps in funding that government have made. It needs to be it needs to be addressed, and it needs to be addressed urgently. In terms of class sizes, I do about my Manifesto. And if you look at secondary school provision in the UK, the two secondary schools in overseas could be classed as very large schools, I think, balcony requests soup school in the UK. Is this really what we want for our children? We do have the buttons there. You know, we know that educational attainment is actually linked to size of school. You know, studies have shown us repeatedly that smaller schools, pupils in smaller schools outstrip educational attainment for pupils in larger schools. So what I would be looking to do is smaller class sizes, potentially smaller high schools. I don’t see any reason that we can’t actually advocate for another High School in in Douglas, considering the numbers in both of all schools. Thank you. And yeah, I would absolutely be looking for a view into that and supporting that. Thank you. Thank you. Over to Amanda.

Unknown Speaker 49:58
Absolutely. 100% Wouldn’t be behind increased funding. And as I said, previously, my children went here and about a clown and studied at both by the community Ninian’s. So I’m very well aware of the outdated buildings that they’re having to deal with and the funding crisis in terms of the resources available, obviously, the switch to online resources and help in terms of the cost of physical resources. But you know, I would want to be in school, and speaking to that the teachers and the head teachers and to parents as well. And I’ve said in all of the other debates that I’ve been involved in, I would hold very regular face to face consultations. And I think they would need to be in the schools as well, that you’d actually come along and hear the concerns of parents. And I’m always concerned about people putting a huge emphasis on the SEM budget. And it’s I think, actually, in many schools, many of the pupils feel that things are extremely unfair by the huge amount of budget that is directed towards sem children. And the good well behaved children who don’t have any emotional and behavioural difficulties feel that they get left behind. We don’t have enough budget budget to reward the students at the other end of the spectrum, the highly gifted and talented children that we also have on this island. And I think that’s an issue that needs addressing. And that’s one of the reasons why I’m interested in the Scandinavian model, because it does that the support for children with sem quite often doesn’t need to be from teachers at all, it needs to be from the from support services. And I think also we need to pay properly for the third sector involvement in school. So things like our listening, the listening service, and cams need to be far better supported, so that teachers can actually do the job of teaching and education. And some of the other roles can be taken on by people who are from different professions with different skill sets, and who are not expected to be Superwoman or Superman, like teachers are where they’re expected to have this multifaceted role where they can be that doctor, teacher, helicopter pilot, thank you.

Unknown Speaker 51:47
Absolutely, I’ve got it in my Manifesto, I think there’s a number of broken fundamental Samothrace, education, GPS for clients. And what we need to do, though, is work out where the money is coming from. And I think we’re seeing in the last five years, we’ve seen a 6% increase in the number of government staff, up and up not many teachers, and now it’s mostly bureaucrats, and a 25% rise in the wage bill. It’s gone from 307 million to 412 million, the and that’s mostly senior civil servants and bureaucrats. So my priority would be my ideal job. I’ve done it before. But the dti is a management reduction programme across 100 people in the UK I did that saved 8 million pounds a year, you know, is to that’s why we should get the money from we need to tackle the size and scope and shape of government by joining up things, maybe not related to education, but such as housing, we could we can start to join all the housing systems that employs dozens upon dozens of people with lots of managers duplication means duplications and services. That’s why we need to save money. Yes, absolutely. So my Manifesto, of course, I’ll fight for the full name. Thank you, Michael.

Michael Josem 52:59
Thanks for the question. Will we be allies of students? I think, of course goes without saying Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. imbedded your question is a is a bizarre assumption that the Treasury officials say no, like Treasury officials, you know, we live in a democratic nation. You know, we had a, we had a civil war on this, this, this, this this island 400 years ago when ilium dome joined the parliamentarian forces. And that Civil War was based on the idea that the parliament should overrule the executive should overrule the monarchy at the top, right in so this idea that that backroom, you know, faces Treasury bureaucrats have a veto over the democratically elected representatives is, it’s it’s a nutty idea, right? And so we need to restore, and remember that the job of members of the House of keys is to be our community’s voice to the government, not the government voice to us. And when we correctly identified that the basic job of a member of the House of keys, everything flows from that because then, you know, Suzanne, and then we can go and fight your battle we can go fight that fight in public transparently, openly. And and you know, if, if a treasury official it does is know, like, what is this it’s like, it’s like an episode of Little Britain computer says, like, what is that? That’s that’s a nonsense idea. And that’s why we need to reassert the supremacy of our of our democratic institutions. Because that’s how that’s the mate. That’s the nation that we’re supposedly living.

Unknown Speaker 54:36
Okay, we have time just for one more question. Oh, I’ve been totally candid. Yes, Tracy, and I’m the head teacher of a beautiful school in the middle of the island, Mr. Jones. We keep hearing that government doesn’t have any money.

Unknown Speaker 55:06
So particularly after the COVID crisis, and in light of the fact that the island has a falling birth rate,

Unknown Speaker 55:17
can that government justify spending money? To me large for ready large primary schools when there are other primary schools with plenty of vacant capacity? How would the candidates see that this could be addressed? Okay. For this one, we go to a massive

Unknown Speaker 55:40
I’m aware of your school. And I’m aware that it was designed for approximately 200 pupils and currently has around 90 on roll I think it’s 110. Right. So it’s well below capacity, the absolutely blatantly obvious thing to do with your school given its location. And the number of people coming in from peel to Douglas work every day is to cite a nursery there, which you previously had nursery and preschool provision that was taken out. And I think that’s something that absolutely needs to be put in. And I’ve spoken about Scandinavian models. in Scandinavia, students typically start formal education at six or seven, they have a much longer time in preschool and early years education that helps very much with their mental health and well being their results at 16 and 18, and a degree level, compare extremely favourably with everywhere else, no harm is done to them from them being able to socialise, and play and learn at their own pace, and actually have a far more mindfully based education. I think there’s a huge issue with equality on the Isle of Man, the government has a series of documents talking about equality for everybody, you only have to look at the buildings to see that there is an absolute lack of equality. These buildings here, the playground outside here was built on a spoil heap, they had all kinds of problems. when my children were school that were schooled here, there was an attempt to stop them going to the NSC for their sports lesson, Bella quail has the worst sloping sports field I have ever seen. And again, they wanted to take sports facilities away from them. COVID If nothing else has taught us the importance of that outside space. Your school is absolutely beautiful. It’s one of the feeder primary schools that I worked with in my last role in education. So I think we have to address that issue. Because I think we have huge disparities on the island, I think we need to invest heavily in early years and preschool education that needs to be brought back. It has huge benefits to get journeys referred to previously the one in six people who are working below the minimum wage, many of those, I would say a very, very high percentage of those that female because of the dearth of affordable childcare on the Isle of Man and want to address that, which will bring a lot of people back into the working population, providing the tax revenue that could fund the changes that need to happen. Either.

Unknown Speaker 57:51
The birth rates also like 612, it used to be about 1200 people result more people, a lot less people being born here. So what does that picture going to look like in another 20 years? And why is it falling? I mean, it’s falling around the world, generally, the birth rate, but particularly here we are, as I mentioned earlier, we’re losing 40% of people under 30, we’ve lost three and a half 1000 out of the economically active population in the last 10 years. So obviously, we’re gonna have to start thinking about infrastructure, we’ve, we’ve got a picture at the moment that’s full of children born, you know, 1520 years ago, obviously. So we’re going to have to start thinking about restructuring, maybe multiple, and some schools are changing their function into nurseries, etc. And that might encourage more people than if it’s a cheaper provision. But I think it’s very much depends again, on the government, how they can control the costs, because people young people want to live you’re not gonna have children here. If they can’t afford to do it. So yeah, they’re gonna have to join some schools off I think, and maybe multiple, some will change their function, eventually, maybe in another five or 10 years. You know, and when you look at what’s the birth rate gonna be the only bond three? No, that’s not very many children. Thank you, Michael.

Michael Josem 59:19
Thank you, Tracy. Thanks for coming. coming tonight. I gotta say I disagree very deeply with Peters proposal with of closing schools here on the Isle of Man, because because I listen to the feedback that Germany and Amanda and the school teachers and the school leaders have told us, and that is that small schools tend to be better for students. And if that if we’re serious about about about acting first in the interest of students, I’m unashamedly against closing schools, because I think they’re important institutions for for our students. And so in that sense, you know, one of the things that I came into this role, one of the very reasons that I’m so proud to have signed the sign up to the NA ht pledge. Is that Is it We need to work as you know, we need as elected officials to show some humility, and and to work with teaching professionals and to listen to teaching professionals as people who are acting in the interest of students. And so that’s why we’ve got to come up with whatever appropriate things are appropriate to your specific school over to john, or, or, you know, the things that are appropriate to the to the school here. And they will be different things for different communities and different circumstances. Because we also have to students who are in different circumstances have different needs and different circumstances. And so I’m unashamedly a big fan of small schools, unashamedly a fan of keeping every single school we can on the Isle of Man, because I’m so passionate about education. And and I think the way to do that is for us as as candidates to remember, we’ve got two ears and one mouth, and we should probably use them in about that proportion. And I’ll ask you, oh, sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry, Joe.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:05
Yes, thank you. So your question was about low numbers and the rules that you own school. But I guess what I just wanted to bring in is that there is a bigger issue there really, which is the so say, john school, it would subscribe to for numbers on its rolls, but he’ll school has to be fourth entry at the moment. So it’s kind of a wider issue really, around the the demographics and the way that people are choosing to live. So that could be part of the solution, I think, you know, upgrading the villages, and helping us to fall back in love with our villages, which is something I do have in my manifesto as well and our community. But for right now, in terms of what we can do about the schools that are so undersubscribed, I think there doesn’t seem to be only one obvious solution to me, which is to which is to adapt the function of the school, as Amanda suggested to include some, some preschool in there as well. I also do have in my manifesto to preschool, pre preschool provision to bring that back. So that would obviously be that would tie in quite nicely, I guess, with that with that solution. Thank you, like, Hey, thanks for your answer. And last question. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 1:02:20
I work in a school at Dulles. This is a question that I think all school staff have been grappling with the last 18 months or so. And I don’t think any of us have come up with a satisfactory answer, because we’re all still trying to deal with it. But what do you see are the priorities

Unknown Speaker 1:02:35
to support children and schools to counteract the impact of three lockdowns and to try and help learners get back on track? Okay, so they get fed to three cocktails what suggestions and kpt occurs this time. And I know it’s been quite tough. And

Unknown Speaker 1:02:54
like, say a lot of feedback I’ve seen has kind of been on the doorstep of people that are a bit of a mixed response. Obviously, children have been badly affected with exams, we’ve got two, two sets of school years now. likely to be affected by COVID. And then results, etc. Kind of like the idea in some ways have been assessed at the end by teachers. But there again, I can see, that might not be fair, because there’s a lot of parents who could put the pressure on people and said, Well, maybe not perceived to be. So I think, I think with this generation that’s been impacted by COVID. I think there should be much better funding. I think that if some of them are falling behind a little bit, we need to encourage them through further education question was we’re just leaving school now. But that’s all I can say to them that we need to just give them as much support as we can. Okay, thank you, Michael.

Michael Josem 1:03:54
Thanks. So So some of the early data around this issue of learning loss seems to indicate that, that children in different circumstances are facing different levels of learning loss. And so and so what I think is that the underlying answer to the question of how do we help people how do we help rural humans overcome the the traumas and the disruption of the lockdowns is that all vary according to different students in different situations. Some of the early data, as I said, does indicate that those students who come from wealthier families tended to have a lesser, lesser learning loss and tend to be less far behind. And then there are other other families, especially in families where there are single single parent households with a household simply did not have the resources to for parents to work in and enter, enter teach their children as much as otherwise they would have might want it. Right. And so so I think the answer your question is it will vary according to student it will vary across To family, and will vary according to school. And so therefore what is our job is as members of the House The case is I think we need to increase local control of schools. One of the things that I recognise is that the differences of the families and Anika is different to the family, then their needs are different to the families in Colby, or in we’re in Ramsey, or here in Douglas. And so we’ve got to empower local local schools to have more control over how they adjust to their local communities, because the communities are affected differently. And second of all, and forgive me for doing this, but there are serious about my pledge to the NIH, NIH T. And that is to work with teaching professionals to do what is best for the students to do what is best for the learners. Because Because the folks on the frontline are the experts here, you guys have dealt with this. You guys have experienced this in you guys see that in your day to day job. And so I think, again, requires a bit of humility from us into into pal, you guys is on the on the frontline to to address those things, appropriately, your communities. Thank you, God.

Unknown Speaker 1:06:02
Thanks. Yeah, it’s a great question. And it’s actually really hard to know the answer, because we don’t actually know the impact of the learning loss on our children. And we don’t know the disparity between primary school and secondary and generally different age groups or different key stages as to how it’s as to how it’s affected, then, I think Michaels absolutely right, that there are obviously differences in social background, the pupils, but I’m not sure if we could really build that into any response. Because it would seem like maybe we were targeting children who were from different backgrounds, and they might feel a little bit victimised by that. And so the first thing I think, would be to establish what the impact has been. And I would imagine that there will be two or three age groups where the impact will be the highest. And so we need to target those age groups. First of all, through targeted learning programmes, how we build this into the school day, though, I think that’s the real issue. From what I can gather the school that my one of my son’s is at who’s in secondary school, on the island, he, they are looking actually incorporating an additional lesson into the day, and by taking some time out of break some time out of lunch. And finishing the school day a little bit later. quite clearly, my son is not up for this talk. However, you know that that could be an option as to how we might address this. But I would first of all advocate that we need to find out what the impact is, and target the age groups that are primarily affected by things like you.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:47
Okay, and early data doesn’t come from the Isle of Man. And I think that data that’s actually specific to the Isle of Man would be far more beneficial in actually making the assessment of where our students are up to. And I think each child is an individual, and the teachers working with them regularly assess them, that assessment quite often doesn’t really go anywhere. It’s just used to sort of compare children against the previous progress and against other children against other places. If we can actually identify the children where there is a real deficit, then we can put working with them. And if we have a workforce that’s actually valued properly, we’ll go back to where we were previously, which is in schools that offer a huge amount of extracurricular activity, including learning enrichment, and are able to actually focus on the children as individuals, and to be able to cater for them as individuals, I think, a huge amount of the extracurricular activities that we’ve lost. in that school where I worked. Most recently, we had 72, lunchtime, and after school clubs, not including the sports clubs, and all of those things heavily encouraged children to feel part of their school, I think we also need to look at making our schools community hubs as well. And there are an awful lot of adults other than teachers who would be willing to come in and volunteer to do things like reading, recovery. And Reading Recovery is very often done by non teachers in UK schools, they’re very, very good training schemes to help to ensure that they are giving good quality support as well. So and I think also partnering our secondary schools with our primary schools, and getting people who are interested in an education career coming in and doing some work experience early on and doing regular sessions, which again, would give continuity with the students that needed some help. And it would actually be something was quite glamorous to them having an older student coming into work with them, rather than being taken out to work individually with a teacher. So I think there’s a whole range of things that we can do. But I do think we have to have a specific tailored approach for here and not try to borrow models from elsewhere. We are a unique environment, we have unique opportunities. And we need to seize that and look at progressive different things we can do, rather than trying to just stop something that’s already done in the UK. I think the UK is a pretty broken model. And it’s not necessarily one that we should be following.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:49
Thank you tonight. And so I’d argue from a privacy perspective, the data there are teachers teachers know those gaps. They know those children very, very well. We can tell you where the gaps So, also I welcome your ideas of liberalism of secondary schools. But I do think that once teachers one picked on identify those gaps, you need a teaching professional to then put those blocks in place for that child to move forward. And all teachers and all teachers and all staff, you’d be working with children throughout the lockdown. We know where those gaps are. And then it always goes back to funding, it builds on what you’ve said before. It would be nice if funding could be made available immediately. So we could put a wonderful bet word booster sessions booster classes in place

Unknown Speaker 1:10:35
for the

Unknown Speaker 1:10:36
academic learning, but more importantly, that would address it. For now. I’m thinking as well being as well because the impact of three lockdowns on our pupils, whether they’re four year olds, or to 18 year olds get to higher education as well. I think it’s good to be with us for a lot longer than we think. Okay, thank you. Um, you know,

Unknown Speaker 1:10:57
can I just respond? I think there’s also been huge behavioural impacts as well, because I think an awful lot of students have lost their routine of whatever age they are. And so I think there was a degree of resistance to learning from some of the students who most needed as well, because they’ve been quite happy at home, and they’ve enjoyed the greater freedom that they’ve had. So actually, trying to get them back into the school context has been a difficulty as well. And so absolutely, we need additional funding. And absolutely, we need additional support. But you know, I think, to try to get that in immediately, it’s very, very difficult, not impossible, and certainly something that I would push for very heavily.

Unknown Speaker 1:11:31
Like, thank you, and now invite the candidates to give us their concluding remarks. And we do that in reverse order. So Michael, you’re first off.

Michael Josem 1:11:40
Thanks for that. Look, I just wanted to say thank you very much, again, for everyone coming out, I enjoyed this discussion, I enjoy the benefit of listening to your is good. You know, I see so many wonderful and familiar faces, I just will say thank you, each of you for coming along this evening. Because every single one of these opportunities is an opportunity for us to listen, and I’m grateful for that. So thank you.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:08
Yeah, I’m aware of that there’s a very average sort of adversarial relationship between government and teachers, I wouldn’t stop that by the new administration, the chance to reset things, I think, get rid of some of the bad personalities, possibly on both sides, I don’t know. So, I think it would be more important that business is also included in that group of educators business under them together. And I do think we need to revisit the funding models. I do think we need to take my idea on board, but 90% of jobs now, it environment, but we need to start moving in that high to if we were to move into the digital and green economies, which are all based on remote work in finance. I think skills also need to teach a lot more life skills. 100 I knew when I left school at 16, I could afford my paper already paid for half my house, why put it into a policy or something, you know, I wish I knew not at 16. And so what we got to do is get the money. So the first things that we’ve gotten to do, and this is where I think I will come in, I’ve gotten 7307 and I remember one of those that did that blog post in the file. But where I would come in, I’m about cutting the size of government prioritising projects and and getting rid of some projects they don’t need. The government just borrowed 400 million pounds, very low interest in one half percent. 80 million of that hasn’t been allocated for yet. And that’s up to the new administrative administration to spend. I think there is money available, and we should concentrate that money on education and health. We’ll continue to push to replace that money by cutting the size of government. Thank you. Hope to see you Monday.

Unknown Speaker 1:13:59
I think there are a number of key priorities that we have to have in education. Obviously, we’ve got to address the learning gap that’s that’s been identified. I think we also need to look at preschool very heavily, I think we need to look at funding for higher education. And I have said in my manifesto that we need to look seriously at not charging students for tuition fees if they work on the island or return to the island. Because I think that would be a huge incentive to bring a lot of young people back, we’ve got to look at the huge disparity in the buildings, which would obviously create some jobs because those buildings need remodelling, and we need investment in our buildings. And I think we also need to look at the curriculum that we offer. And I would struggle to find an awful lot more time for life skills, lessons in the formal curriculum in secondary school, because our students actually want to get examinations out of that. I don’t think our GCSE is fit for purpose for the vast majority of our students. I’d like to see far more vocational education, I would like to see our students offered basic skills qualifications, having worked in the social care sector, I’ve been doing a lot of online learning with students who previously felt that they’ve completely failed by the education system hadn’t got any qualifications at seven tene and 18. But we’re able to leave with a festival of qualifications by going through basic skills qualifications. And we have already got what Peter was referring to the Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Education and secondary careers team worked on looking at the record of achievement folder under the directorship of john Gilbert. And we looked at remodelling that completely it hadn’t been looked at in 21 years, we looked at a far more portfolio approach, we tried to get a gross joined up approach with UCM. And with employers, there was input from the Chamber of Commerce, there was input from the careers teachers and also input from the department and we had students who were actually interviewed with their portfolios because very often and 16 year olds find it very difficult to showcase their skills with a portfolio with photographs and evidence and report from their work experience and prompts for them, enables them to actually speak with far more confidence about what they have achieved. they very often underestimate their skills, and fail to showcase what they can do. A lot of our students have absolutely superb soft skills that are not recorded on paper, which they have difficulty to demonstrate without having received some training and doing that many of our schools in secondary sections, certainly the one that I most recently worked in, have formal careers lessons where there’s an awful lot of peer review and input from outside agencies, particularly Junior Achievement, but others as well, the Tax Service come in and speak about taxation. And in all of the secondary schools, it’s part of the curriculum over to Germany,

Unknown Speaker 1:16:26
thanks. So I just really want to finish up with the objectives for education for my Manifesto, I have increasing education spending up to 4% of GDP. Now, I would like to put a proviso in there, my ideal scenario would be being on a part with the world’s best educational systems. Finland has the world’s best in terms of educational outcomes, and they spend 7% of GDP. That’s where I’d like to be. But in the very first instance, let’s at least get our GDP up to international standards for developed developed countries. So 4% of GDP, the reestablishment of free preschool provision for all a reduction in class size in primary schools to meet the needs of the individuals, the development of vocational pathways and apprenticeship schemes in secondary schools, which lead to recognise professional qualifications and aligning educational staffs wages with comparable high level cost areas and establishing a framework for ensuring staff wellbeing, in order to attract and retain good practitioners. So that’s the objectives in my Manifesto. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 1:17:28
Thank you so much. So thank you very much. I do apologise because I don’t think I introduce myself at the start. I’m Jonathan Ayres, head teacher of algorri School in the south of the island. And I’m currently the administrative secretary for nht on the Isle of Man at the Isle of Man branch. I think it’s definitely been a quite a case of quality over quantity tonight, after being quite a few costings and requisition meetings myself. It has really encouraged me to hear your questions, and it’s encouraged me to hear your answers, especially in the way that we’re putting education first in this election. So I’d like to think thank you very much to the candidates we have here tonight and for your answers to the questions. Thank you for all of you for giving up your time to come here tonight and put those questions to the candidates. And keeping education is a priority. So thank you so much for everybody. I wish you’re very good evening and home safely. And good luck to our candidates next week. Thank you very much

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.