Education in the Isle of Man

Last updated
Education in Isle of Man
Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Graham Cregeen
National education budget (2017-18)
Budget£96.8 million [1]
General details
Primary languagesEnglish [2]
Enrollment (2017)
Total11,710 [1]

Education in the Isle of Man is compulsory for children aged between 5 and 16. As a Crown dependency the Isle of Man parliament and government have competence over all domestic matters, including education; however the structure and curriculum are broadly in line with that of UK schools and particularly the English national curriculum. Education is overseen by the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and regulated by the Isle of Man Education Act 2001. As of September 2017 there were 6,492 pupils in primary schools, and 5,218 pupils in secondary education. [1]

Isle of Man British Crown dependency

The Isle of Man, often referred to simply as Mann, is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented by a lieutenant governor. Defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

The National Curriculum for England was first introduced by the Education Reform Act of 1988. At the time of its introduction the legislation applied to both England and Wales. However, education later became a devolved matter for the Welsh government. The current statutory National Curriculum dates from 2014 at which point it was introduced to most year groups across primary and secondary education. Some elements were introduced in September 2015. The National Curriculum sets out the content matter which must be taught in a number of subjects in "local authority–maintained schools".

Department of Education, Sport and Culture Manx government department

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture is a department of the Isle of Man Government.



The Old Grammar School, Castletown, used as a school from 1701 until 1930 The Old Grammar School, Castletown - - 124105.jpg
The Old Grammar School, Castletown, used as a school from 1701 until 1930

Before 1675 there were no schools in the Isle of Man and any education was provided by the church. This changed with the arrival of Bishop Isaac Barrow, who established a school in every parish.

Isaac Barrow was an English clergyman and Bishop, consecutively, of Sodor and Man and St Asaph, and also served as Governor of the Isle of Man. He is sometimes confused with his more famous namesake and nephew, Isaac Barrow (1630–1677), the mathematician and theologian.

Education system

The education system in the Isle of Man is similar to the system used in England. Primary school consists of seven years, and secondary school of seven years. All five secondary schools in the Isle of Man have a sixth form centre.

Education in England Education in England

Education in England is overseen by the United Kingdom's Department for Education. Local government authorities are responsible for implementing policy for public education and state-funded schools at a local level.

Primary school School in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve

A primary school is a school for children from about four to eleven years old, in which they receive primary or elementary education. It can refer to both the physical structure (buildings) and the organisation. Typically it comes after preschool, and before secondary school.

Secondary school building and organization where secondary education is provided

A secondary school is both an organization that provides secondary education and the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools can provide both lower secondary education and upper secondary education, but these can also be provided in separate schools, as in the American middle and high school system.

Foundation Stage is the British government label for education of pupils aged 2 to 5 in England. In Northern Ireland, it is also used to refer to the first two years of compulsory education for pupils aged 4 to 6.

Key Stage 1 is the legal term for the two years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 1 and Year 2, when pupils are aged between 5 and 7. This Key Stage normally covers pupils during infant school, although in some cases this might form part of a first or primary school. It is also the label used for the third and fourth years of primary education in Northern Ireland. In Hong Kong, it is used to describe Primary One to Primary Three.

Key Stage 2 is the legal term for the four years of schooling in maintained schools in England and Wales normally known as Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6, when the pupils are aged between 7 and 11 years.


The Department of Education operates 32 primary schools and 5 secondary schools. [3] Among the primary schools, Bunscoill Ghaelgagh is the only school in the world where children are taught mainly in Manx. Independent schools include King William's College and its junior school, The Buchan School.

Further and higher education

See also

Related Research Articles

Education in Northern Ireland

Education in Northern Ireland differs from systems used elsewhere in the United Kingdom, although it is relatively similar to Wales. A child's age on 1 July determines the point of entry into the relevant stage of education, unlike England and Wales where it is 1 September. Northern Ireland's results at GCSE and A-Level are consistently top in the UK. At A-Level and BTEC level 3, one third of students in Northern Ireland achieved A and distinction grades in 2007, which is a higher proportion than in England and Wales.

Douglas, Isle of Man Capital of the Isle of Man

Douglas is the capital and largest town of the Isle of Man, with a population of 27,938 (2011). It is located at the mouth of the River Douglas, and on a sweeping bay of two miles. The River Douglas forms part of the town's harbour and main commercial port.

State schools, called public schools in North America and many other countries, are generally primary or secondary schools mandated for or offered to all children without charge, funded in whole or in part by taxation.

A comprehensive school is a school type, principally in the United Kingdom; it is a school for secondary aged children, that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude, in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to England and Wales, where comprehensive schools were introduced as state schools on an experimental basis in the 1940s and became more widespread from 1965. With the Blair educational reforms from 2003, they may be part of a local education authority or be a self governing academy or part of a multi-academy trust.

King William's College is an independent school for pupils aged 3 to 18, located near Castletown on the Isle of Man. It is a member of the International Baccalaureate and Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference organisations. The College operates two sites in Castletown: a main senior school campus on the shore of Castletown Bay, and a prep school in the Westhill part of Castletown, two miles from the main campus. The College was originally for boys only, but became co-educational in the 1980s. It has roughly five hundred pupils, many from beyond the British Isles.

St Johns, Isle of Man village in United Kingdom

St John's is a small village in the sheading of Glenfaba in the Isle of Man, in the island's central valley. It is in the House of Keys constituency of Glenfaba & Peel, which elects two MHKs.

Key Stage 4 is the legal term for the two years of school education which incorporate GCSEs, and other examinations, in maintained schools in England normally known as Year 10 and Year 11, when pupils are aged between 14 and 16.

The University College Isle of Man (UCM) is the primary centre for tertiary, vocational education and higher education on the British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man, being located in the Manx capital Douglas.

The Centre for Manx Studies is a department of the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology in the University of Liverpool whose focus is the study of the Isle of Man, the Manx language, and Manx culture and history.

Secondary education in Wales covers the period between the ages of 11 and 16. In this period a child's education is divided into two main stages of the National Curriculum: Key Stages 3 and 4.

Queen Elizabeth II High School is a mixed comprehensive school in Peel, Isle of Man. It teaches the years 7-11 as well as a sixth form for years 12-13.

Mooinjer veggey is the Manx for little people, a term used for fairies in Gaelic lore. The equivalent Irish and Scottish Gaelic are Muintir Bheaga and Muinntir Bheaga.

Year 7 is an educational year group in schools in many countries including England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand. It is the seventh year of compulsory education and is roughly equivalent to grade 6 in the United States and Canada.

Bunscoill Ghaelgagh

Bunscoill Ghaelgagh is a Manx-language primary school in St John's, Isle of Man. As of 2011 it is the only school in the world where children are taught their lessons solely in Manx and which allows children to learn the language fluently. Pupils may then go on to Queen Elizabeth II High School in Peel or to their catchment area's high school, where General Certificate of Secondary Education Manx is offered from the age of 12.

ABC International School

Member of/registered with: The British Educational Department, Cambridge International Examinations, AQA examinations, QCA, COBIS, FOBISIA, BISW, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

Takoradi International School is an international school in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana.

St Ninian's High School is a secondary school located in Douglas and Onchan, on the Isle of Man. The School is set over two different sites, catering for different year groups.

Bangkok International Preparatory and Secondary School, or Bangkok Prep, is an independent international school based on the National Curriculum of England located in Bangkok, Thailand. Established in 2003, the school is now in its 16th year. 1,200 students are enrolled at Bangkok Prep, representing 42 nationalities.


  1. 1 2 3 "Isle of Man Government - Media Centre" . Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  2. Manx is the primary language at one primary school: Bunscoill Ghaelgagh
  3. "Isle of Man Schools and Colleges". Retrieved 19 July 2019.