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The roll out of Cambridge IGCSE across all Isle of Man schools continues this September, following a decision by the Island’s government last year to switch away from the English GCSE system.
“The decision to move almost wholesale to one exam board was the most radical change in the Island’s education policy since the Second World War,” says Professor Ronald Barr, Chief Executive of the Department of Education and Children, Isle of Man.
Concerns about changes to GCSE by the UK government prompted a public consultation on whether to adopt a new examination system. “At the end of this process, we had a very clear mandate to adopt Cambridge – in some cases, as strong as an 80/20 split in Cambridge’s favour,” says Professor Barr.
“We had parents, young people and employers telling us consistently that they liked the term ‘international’ because we’re an international jurisdiction as a crown dependency, and that they liked the connection back to GCSE. There was a sense that Cambridge has international credibility and that it wouldn’t be subject to the same political pressures as the GCSE.”
By the end of this academic year, more than two-thirds of the GCSE provision will have moved across to Cambridge IGCSE.