Providing adequate funding for special needs education among the topics to be discussed
Liberal Vannin says it wants to see working parents provided with up to 25 hours of free ‘high-quality’ childcare, each week, for children aged nine months to school age.
It’s one of 12 proposals the political party is campaigning for.
The group is holding a public meeting called ‘Education on the Island’ next Monday (25 September) at the Manx Legion Club in Douglas at 7.30pm.
Liberal Vannin has set out what it wants to achieve on the Isle of Man including:
1. Provide up to 25 hours of free high-quality childcare per week, from nine months to school age, for children of all working parents. Parents wanting to go back to work will get the help they need, knowing that their child will be happy, healthy and ready to start school.
2. Work with Public Health to ensure children get sufficient and suitable nutrition for their needs; and extend free school meals to all children in primary education, support school breakfast clubs and provision during school holidays.
3. Give Primary Headteachers a statutory responsibility to promote the well-being of children at school and ensure that all their teaching staff have the training to identify mental health issues to work with appropriate agencies to ensure that support and counselling is available and provided.
4. Encourage Secondary Schools to recognise that young people perform least well during early mornings and to ensure that first lesson start times are no earlier than 09.00 am.
5. Put well-being at the heart of school and pre-school provision and provide better and adequate funding for special needs education.
6. Request the Department for Education, Sports and Culture to provide quarterly updates on the plans for a new secondary school and the future of swimming facilities in Castletown.
7. Review funding support for students in higher education and apprentices to ensure that the key skills required by Island businesses and public services are being met and our young people continue to have opportunities for employment on the Island.
8. Encourage greater co-operation between parents home-schooling their children and their local schools to provide access to advice and specialist resources.
9. Improve communications between schools and parents on how the school curriculum is developed and delivered, enabling parents to support and contribute to their children’s learning as appropriate.
10. Strengthen the provision of Manx Gaelic teaching and Manx Studies from early years to higher education.
11. Review the current upskill / reskill programme to ensure that those who have gained skills on the job (sometimes referred to as grandparenting) can obtain appropriate qualifications on Island.
12. To provide support in the workplace for all those who are disadvantaged through various additional needs.
Two guest speakers will also be at the meeting - Anna Cowin of Anna Cowin Learning (formally Isle Learn) who will discuss her experience working with the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and Graeme Brooks - a spokesperson for homeschoolers.
Liberal Vannin chairman Paul Weatherall told Manx Radio it’s an important topic that affects everyone: