Positive Action Group - Possan Jantys Jarrooagh

Open, accountable government, rigorous control of public finances, and a fairer society for all.

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Bog Standard Comprehensives

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bog standardBOG STANDARD COMPREHENSIVES?

Following on from the publication of two articles relating to student levels of attainment in the Island’s primary schools, parent David Watts has turned his attention to the secondary schools – focussing on Key Stage 4 GCSE/IGCSE attainment.

The author believes this new article contains some thought-provoking material. As with his previous work much of the data in this document was sourced from Freedom of Information requests and is information he resolutely believes should be in the public domain so that parents and other stakeholders can determine for themselves the relative academic strengths of our secondary schools.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, some school Departments shine; others most certainly have room for improvement. Not only does this new article critically examine GCSE results and so called pass rates over the previous three years it also highlights some important related areas namely:

  • The value added by the schools (how much actual progress is made by pupils through their 5 years of compulsory secondary education?);
  • Whether the Island’s schools are “gaming the system” by concentrating on a particular group of pupils in order to score as highly as possible in the Department’s key performance measure (5 GCSEs at A*-C including English and maths);
  • Are some IOM KS4 pupils effectively “off-rolled” for examination statistics purposes and if so, what is the actual data for all students completing the KS4 in terms of gaining a Level 2 qualification (the traditional pass) in English and maths?
  • Some notes on the performance of King William’s College (the Island’s only public school) and broad comparisons with other areas of the UK notably Wales and Northern Ireland – the latter jurisdiction returns some particularly impressive results in comparison to the Isle of Man;
  • The DESC U-turn in choice of examination board for GCSE mathematics with some shocking statistics on reading ages required to access papers and exceptionally low grade boundaries. According to e-mails released under the FOIA at least one Secondary head has “serious concerns” over certain subjects “and the whole exam set up” and articulated such to the DESC CEO in December 2018 – some 5 months before students sit examinations crucial for their future.

You can access the work by clicking on the link below.

Attachments:
FileFile sizeDownloads
Download this file (Bog Standard Comprehensives.pdf)Bog Standard Comprehensives.pdf1251 Kb152
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2019 11:10
 

PAG Event: Constitution Conundrum

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Public Meeting

"Constitution Conundrum"

manx relatPresentation and panel discussion by:

  • Prof Peter Edge LLB, PhD (Cantab), SFHEA, FRSA. Professor of Law Oxford Brookes University

  • Professor Claire de Than - BA (Hons), LLB, LLM Deputy Director of the Institute of Law, Jersey, and Co-Director of the Centre for Law, Justice and Journalism at City University

  • Advocate Paul Beckett M.A., M.St. (Oxon.), FRSA, MCIArb., TEP; Senior Counsel, Mann Benham Advocates Limited

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

7:30 pm MONDAY 29th April

- The event is free and open to all -

The frenzied over-long continuing controversy about Brexit has caused many to question as to how how the UK is run. Westminster is generally revered as the mother of all parliaments, but of late fissures have been exposed in the relationship of the government and parliament. Unlike modern states, there is no written constitution to which a citizen can refer.

Like the UK, the IOM muddles through with a jumble of precedent and convention. This was brought into sharp focus here, three years ago, when it was announced that the majority of Manx Residents would not be able to vote in the 2016 EU Referendum. Because of our relationship with the UK we were deprived of a vote, so have been mere by-standers since then.

Our Chief Minister has spent many hours in Westminster ensuring the island's voice is not ignored.

At its free public meeting on April 29th "Constitution Conundrum", PAG will discuss constitutions, constitution making and independence.

A distinguished panel will assemble to consider and discuss this confusing topic with the audience

In arranging over one hundred public meetings, we have never assembled such a distinguished panel of experts. The topic is relevant to current political turmoil brought about by Brexit. We have no codified constitution. We rely on precedent and convention. Is that sensible? What would change look like? Could this be prove our "constitutional moment?"

Prof Edge will provide a broad perspective on constitutions followed by Prof deThan who will explain a perspective from Jersey. Paul Beckett will then introduce the concept of independence for the IoM. Is it a possibility?

The event is free and open to all - come and have you say!

BIOs

Prof Peter Edge LLB, PhD (Cantab), SFHEA, FRSA. Professor of Law Oxford Brookes University
Peter Edge was educated at Ballasalla Primary School, Castle Rushen High School, Lancaster University and Wolfson College Cambridge. He has been researching on Manx constitutional law and legal history since the 1980s. His publications include Manx Public Law - an open access ebook originally published by the Isle of Man Law Society in 1997 and now available from the Oxford Brookes website.

Professor Claire de Than BA (Hons), LLB, LLM Director of Studies of the Institute of Law, Jersey, and Jersey Law Commissioner; also University of London
Professor Claire de Than is a senior legal academic of more than 25 years' standing, and a Jersey Law Commissioner, currently working on a Criminal Code. She has over 85 legal publications in total, including 15 books, chapters in leading legal monographs and edited collections, such as Reed and Bohlander, Substantive Issues in Criminal Law (Ashgate, 2011) and articles in a variety of national and international journals, including the Modern Law Review. Her research fields include criminal law, comparative law of tiny jurisdictions, human rights law, media law, and disability law. She has been an expert for the Law Commission of England and Wales on two recent projects. She has advised several governments and many organisations on criminal law, human rights and law reform issues, with specialisms in the law of British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies.

Advocate Paul Beckett M.A., M.St. (Oxon.), FRSA, MCIArb., TEP; Senior Counsel, MannBenham Advocates Limited
On a professional level, I he hasover thirty-five years' experience as a lawyer, both within the international private banking and fiduciary services industries and in private practice. First trained at leading "magic circle" City of London Solicitors Simmons & Simmons, qualified an English Solicitor in 1981 and as an Advocate in 1990. Also a non-practising Solicitor in Ireland and in Northern Ireland. He has diplomatic experience, having been on the staff of the European Patent Office in Munich in this capacity, where he worked in English, German and French; languages which he still use professionally. He was the Honorary Representative of the Isle of Man Government in Switzerland during his time as a Senior Vice President of Deutsche Bank in Geneva. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (founded in 1754). His academic work extends over five decades. He graduated from Worcester College, Oxford University in 1978 with First Class honours in Jurisprudence, being awarded Master of Arts in 1982. He is also a member of New College, Oxford University and completed a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law in 2014. He has been widely published.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2019 21:52
 

Home Education: The Education Bill 2019 and the Human Rights Act 2001

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Quinn Legal were instructed to consider the extent of compatibility with the Human Rights Act 2001 of key proposals in the Education Bill 2019 with regards to home education.

Their findings are attached.

IoM Examiner 190205 P1

Attachments:
FileFile sizeDownloads
Download this file (Quinn Legal Opinion Isle of Man New Education Bill.pdf)Quinn Legal: Education Bill 2019 and Home Education936 Kb93
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 April 2019 22:12
 

Positive Action Group AGM 2019

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POSITIVE ACTION GROUP (PAG) - AGM & Public Meeting

MONDAY 25th March 2019

Annual General Meeting at 7:30 pm

and

Extremist Politics: "A Night at the Garden" at 8pm

(Short documentary film followed by an audience discussion)

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

msg nazi

The whole evening event is free and open to all, but only members are able to vote at the AGM. Why not join on the night?

Most of us are wary of extreme political views, but nevertheless they do seem to grab headlines in other parts of the world. This is not a modern phenomenon - PAG recently came cross this short shocking documentary of an event in the heart of New York City in 1939.

In 1939, 20,000 Americans rallied in New York’s Madison Square Garden to celebrate the rise of Nazism – an event largely forgotten from American history. A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN, made entirely from archival footage filmed that night, transports audiences to this chilling gathering and shines a light on the power of demagoguery and anti-Semitism in the United States.

The film was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and PAG has been given permission by the distributors to give it a public showing in the Isle of Man.

PAG, is now in its 14th year of operation and over that time has held about 100 free public meetings. Prior to the showing of 'A Night at the Garden' it will also hold its AGM commencing 7:30 pm and all members are urged to attend. Without continued support we will not be able to sustain our activities.Do join us!
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 March 2019 23:39
 

PAG event: The 2019 Manx Budget

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PAG Public Meeting

The Treasury Minister Explains

The 2019 Manx Budget

a presentation

by

Hon Alf Cannan MHK

manx money

7:30 pm Monday 25th February 2019

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

FREE PUBLIC ADMISSION - PLEASE COME ALONG AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

Each year the Budget Statement is expected with great anticipation. There is much to think about and Positive Action Group (PAG) is pleased to welcome Treasury Minister, Hon Alf Cannan MHK, to share and discuss his thoughts at a public meeting. He will present his 2019 Budget Statement to Tynwald on 19th February. Less than a week later, as has now become almost traditional Positive Action Group is delighted to host the only public meeting where the Minister will expand on his decisions to the broader electorate, and face questions from the floor as to the public's reaction to those announcements.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 February 2019 18:39
 

The Great IoM Primary School League Table Postcode Lottery

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IoM Examiner parents deserveSince the first (2017) unofficial IOM Primary School League Tables were published on the PAG website debate has been generated on this subject in the Island’s media and other fora.

Following on from this, parent David Watts has written a second article (drawing on responses to a succession of Freedom of Information requests).

The Paper includes the Key Stage 2 (KS2) League Tables for the last academic year (ending July 2018). Importantly this work contains much more – notably what the author terms “Dashboards.”

Here readers will find a series of pages – one dedicated to each of the Island’s 32 primary schools where KS2 academic attainment, respective league table positioning, and other contextual data is tracked over a 5-year (2014-18) period.

Parents can directly compare and contrast various aspects of the Island’s schools to see, for example, if it is a consistently higher academic performer, a school where pupils struggle to reach Level 5 (+) or whether it is one whose KS2 results mirror that of a roller coaster, experiencing cyclical peaks and troughs of varying degrees.

Furthermore, following publication of England’s Early Years Foundation Stage results on 18th October 2018 an analysis of each Island school’s Reception Year performance has been conducted using the Good Level of Development (GLD) performance measure. Here the author highlights the Island’s low ranking compared to the 152 Local Education Authorities (LEA) in England – if the IOM was considered as the 153rd LEA it would rank 126th.

Of course, as with KS2 results, there is dramatic variation in performance between Island schools. Full details are published in this Paper.

A pupil’s choice of school is governed by geographical catchment areas (unless the lottery of an out of catchment place is granted). Thus, a parent’s/guardian’s address means that school choice is postcode dependent (selecting faith orientated schooling, the Manx Language school or seeking private education are potential alternatives). Accordingly, parents may well want to compare various qualities and attributes of schools.

This Paper focuses on academic results, noting of course, that other factors are of great importance to prospective parents.

The author believes that his Paper makes for thought provoking reading for anybody interested in the academic performance of the Island’s Primary Schools.

To access the Paper, click on the link below.

Attachments:
FileFile sizeDownloads
Download this file (THE GREAT IOM PRIMARY SCHOOL LEAGUE TABLE POSTCODE LOTTERY V1.pdf)The Great IoM Primary School League Table Postcode Lottery2169 Kb8881
 

PAG Event: Public Sector Pensions - a Persistent Problem

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POSITIVE ACTION GROUP (PAG) - PUBLIC MEETING

"Public Sector Pensions - a Persistent Problem"

a presentation by

Hon. Chris Thomas MHK  (Minister for Policy and Reform)

Manx Legion Club Market Hill, Douglas

7:30 pm MONDAY 28th January 2019

The event is free and open to all

public-vs-private-pensions

Last Updated on Saturday, 19 January 2019 18:13
 

PAG Event: Dignity in Dying

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POSITIVE ACTION GROUP (PAG) & IOM FREETHINKERS - Public Meeting 

"Dignity and Choice in Dying"

A presentation and discussion

Thomas Davies

Director of Campaigns & Communications

Dignity in Dying 

 

Mick Murray

Active supporter

Dignity in Dying

DiD Tutu

Manx Legion Club, Market Hill, Douglas

 7:30 pm MONDAY 26th November 2018

The event is free and open to all

Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2018 22:30
 
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