Sixth form centre may give us an edge

Richard Ronan MHK

Richard Ronan MHK

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Should the island have a single all-island sixth form centre?

That’s the question that will be posed in Tynwald today (Tuesday) by Castletown MHK Richard Ronan.

He will ask Education Minister Tom Crookall: ‘What plans he has to create a single all island sixth form facility?’

But the Examiner understands the Department of Education and Children has no such plans at the moment.

It has, however, identified issues with small class sizes in certain A level subjects and some schools are already teaming up to offer courses such as computing by pooling their resources.

Mr Ronan said he was receptive to the idea of creating a single all-island sixth form centre - but he accepted there may be logistical problems in getting pupils from across the island to one central facility.

He said: ‘I’ve heard this is something which is being talked about.

‘I’ve a daughter going through this at the moment. Our schools are trying to offer the best A-level subjects they can and already they are starting to split subjects over different schools.

‘Should we have so many A level centres around the island? Just because we’ve done something for 50 years doesn’t mean it’s actually the best way.

‘To create a centre of excellence for sixth form students could possibly give our students an edge for getting into university. Stepping away from the secondary education environment might be positive. But there is a question of logistics.’

Among schools looking at sharing resources for some A-level subjects next year are Castle Rushen High School and Queen Elizabeth II School.

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