The education minister has shot down figures from an independent report which suggested the Isle of Man has the lowest per pupil expenditure in the British Isles.

At the House of Keys sitting this week, Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse asked Minister for Education, Sport and Culture Daphne Caine how the level of spending per student is determined and why the current amount is lower than that in some neighbouring jurisdictions.

His question came after an independent report, commissioned by the Council of Ministers, found the average spent per pupil in the other Crown Dependencies is almost twice as high as it is here.

The report says £5,639 is spent per pupil each year in the Isle of Man compared to around £10,499 per child in Jersey and £10,098 in Guernsey.

Larger jurisdictions such as Wales and England had a per pupil expenditure of £6,773 and £7,160 respectively, while Scotland spent over £8,500.

However, Mrs Caine insists the figures in the report, published last month, are not accurate and the expenditure is much higher in the island than reported with £8,700 spent per pupil in secondary schools and £8,600 per pupil in primary schools.

She said: ‘Comparisons with other jurisdictions is difficult. How we use the formula to work out expenditure is incredibly complex.

‘The department did not commission the report and there was no input from it. I suspect the report did not take into account central government funding when calculating the figures.’

When asked whether she would find out more about how the report came to the figures it calculated, Mrs Caine said she did not think it would be ‘very helpful’ and her department figures were the correct ones.

But Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Tim Glover said he was ‘flabbergasted’ the minister was not going to clarify how the report worked out its figures when they were in the public domain.