Close down the Bunscoill

The notion of having a dedicated manx language school is a very expensive optional "nice to have". I can accept some merit in teaching limited basics of the manx laguage in mainstream schools as part of the Manx PSE curriculum, but having a dedicated school where manx is used as the first language is a Rolls Royce-esque luxury that the state can ill afford. Has anybody in Government undertaken a study to compare the annual cost of this provision with the value of the benefits deriven value to the economy and wider society? If there really is a public demand for this from parents, then surely there is a viable market for the private sector to operate and charge those willing to pay accordingly. Is the Bunscoill overssubscribed? How does the teacher/pupil ratio and spend per pupil compare with other schools on the Island? This will now doubt be unpopular - I have no issue with people being taught Manx in schools, but I do have a problem with the taxpayer paying for a school dedicated for this purpose.

Why the contribution is important

Running a state-funded parallel education service so that courses can be taught in Manx is an optional nice to have servcie that is continuing to significantly drain the increasingly tight resources from the mainstream education system. This is an opportune time to to review the ongoing need for and funding of this service.

by Woodyboyo on April 07, 2017 at 02:46PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.2
Based on: 10 votes


  • Posted by DocMills April 07, 2017 at 17:51

    Some figures:

    In 2012, it was reported to cost £287,500 for 50 pupils (Tynwald question -[…]/)

    For comparison, in 2012, Ballaugh cost £322,500 (capacity = 75) , Dhoon cost £385,000
     (capacity = 100).

  • Posted by Wishitwasfriday April 08, 2017 at 23:38

    Some of the smaller schools should be sold, together with some of the other facilities owned by the Department of Education, such as the professional development centre in Santon and the language centre in Marown. These are both prime pieces of land and could raise a considerable amount of funds and reduce ongoing expenses for premises that are nice to have but whose functions could be accommodated elsewhere.
  • Posted by ninjadispenser April 09, 2017 at 15:10

    Unfortunately I agree that a Manx language school is a luxury we cannot afford and a quarter of a million pounds is not an insignificant saving and could rightly be handed over to the private sector to pick up.In global terms the Manx language is not helpful in job applications and I suspect that "I can speak fluent Manx" would be met with " So what?" In many circles so why are the Manx taxpayers being charged for it and then told our health service is underfunded? Some may say that it's only a drop in the ocean of what needs to be clawed back but I am afraid that this is what it will be like from now on.I think it was Aristotle who said"A jug fills drop by drop" and a quarter million is a big drop.
    We may do better to teach children basic maths and English instead of text speak and emoji speak rather than running a specialist school for an obsolete language that could be a night school course for those prepared to pay for it themselves.
  • Posted by ManxVoter April 10, 2017 at 16:02

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by Manneen April 12, 2017 at 11:48

    The Bunschoill is oversubscribed because of the quality of education - other schools should look to their laurels
  • Posted by charlie April 15, 2017 at 23:30

    The Bunschoill is oversubscribed because it's become a school of choice for parents who desire small class sizes but aren't prepared to pay Buchan prices.
  • Posted by Manneen April 19, 2017 at 11:43

    The Bunscoil is the only primary on the island that does not go on catchment area. If you are say in rented accommodation and likely to move for whatever reason and value continuity of education, the Bunscoill is ideal. Perhaps other schools should look at that? Abolishing catchment areas may help with childcare for some families - children could go the school near their grandparents ?
  • Posted by programx May 10, 2017 at 12:41

    The benefits afforded to those students lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend schools such as the Bunscoill are numerous:

    * Small class sizes
    * Committed teachers who teach for the love of the job, not because it's a civil service job
    * A second language has proven to contribute to improvements in learning - KEY here is the fact that the language is a minority language is itself not relevant.

    But they are not quantitative, tangible or relatable back to their time at the school.

    Cost savings aren't as black-and-white as posited by the original poster:

    * Students placed in the Bunscoill will need to be re-accommodated elsewhere, possibly in their catchment area. This merely moves money, it doesn't necessarily save it.
    * The Bunscoill attracts interest from other cultures/countries eager to learn how we have made our school such a success. This improves our reputation internationally and (particularly) within the Celtic nations (with whom we compete and will continue to do so post-Brexit)
    * The staff/children do not enjoy some of the state-funded benefits of other schools. eg. (I believe and may be wrong) they need to fund their own pension arrangements.
    * The school does not have its own hot dinner making facilities, these must be funded by parents.
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