Schools on the Isle of Man are set to receive 'external validation' reviews which look to 'pave the way for a new era of education improvement'.

The new external process will get underway initially in five island schools next week before it is rolled out across all educational settings and services.

The first group of schools to be validated will be St Mary’s RC School, Peel Clothworkers’ School, Kewaigue, Castle Rushen and Queen Elizabeth II.

Parents and students will be informed of their school's validation visit, but these visits will not impact student learning and schools will do what they usually do on a day-to-day basis.

Each validation visit will be undertaken as part of an overall six to eight week programme, in which the lead validator and supporting team will visit each school to validate the self-evaluation completed by school and educational service leaders to inform the 'next steps for growth'.

The process will be carried out by a global organisation, Tribal Education Services. A spokesperson said: 'During their visit the external validators will work alongside school and service leaders and teachers to explore identified validation trails, with activities which could include speaking to students, meeting with staff and other relevant stakeholders, looking at students’ work, joining lessons and reviewing school and service data and priorities.'

Tribal’s lead validator has already met with school and service leaders and invited all teachers from the first schools to join her for an introductory meeting to find out more. She said: 'School and service leaders and teachers have embraced the external validation process as an opportunity to support continuous growth and improvement, which will directly impact on the children and young people.

'In adopting this approach to validation, which is based on our reviews of best practice in educational quality assurance around the world, the island is demonstrating its progressive commitment to the growth and development of children and young people’s education provision.’

Following the external validation visit, information about the visit will be available on each school's website. This will also form part of an annual overview of education on the island, formed from the external validation findings.

All schools and services will have been part of the external validation process by July 2026, as part of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture’s 'quality assurance framework', which was introduced in all schools and services in September 2022.

The framework requires schools and services to self-evaluate key areas including the quality of education, behaviour, relationships and attitudes, personal development and leadership.

Julie Edge, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said: ‘I am delighted to see the delivery of a key Island Plan commitment.  The external validations pave the way for a new era of education improvement. They form a key element of effective quality assurance within our schools and services ensuring that our children and young people’s development remains at the heart of our education system.

‘The framework supports schools and services to better understand the validity of their own judgements and provides decision makers with the autonomy to understand and implement their own improvement and development plans in innovative ways.’