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Vacancy on Board of Education filled 13 November 2008

RAMSEY has a new member on the Board of Education. Steven Bevan was co-opted by the Board at a meeting yesterday (Wednesday) after nominations were invited by the Department.

Mr Bevan, 37, of Greenlands Avenue, Ramsey, is married to Bernadette and they have an 11-year-old daughter who is in Year 7 at Ramsey Grammar School, having attended both Auldyn and Albert Road schools in the town. Mr Steven Bevan

A self-employed IT consultant, Mr Bevan plays an active role in the local community. He is involved in the school associations of all three Ramsey schools and is treasurer of the Ramsey Young People’s Project – The Shed – which is in its 12th year and is used by up to 160 young people each week.

Mr Bevan said information technology would, in the future, play an even more significant role in learning than it does at present.

‘It is encouraging that Ramsey Grammar School is piloting the Virtual Learning Environment, which will allow those with internet access to have access to an online learning space,’ he said. ‘It is important that such initiatives are available to all, as not all households have a computer and internet access, and are delivered in a safe and secure environment.’

Mr Bevan added:

‘I welcome the issues being addressed by the Department in the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. I also believe that it is correct that the Department should seek to address the problem of term-time absences due to pupils taking holidays.’

He said:

‘The future of education in the Isle of Man will continue to be very exciting and I believe that I can contribute to that by being a member of the Board of Education.’

Board members’ main role is to sit on schools’ governing bodies and advise the Department on matters relating to policy. The Board meets as a whole twice a year, while there are area meetings in the spring term.

Mr Bevan will, along with the 14 existing members, hold a seat until June 2009, after which it is hoped the publicly elected Board will be replaced with an Education Council, which will also comprise of lay members and will continue to advise the Department and schools. Present Board members would be eligible for appointment to the new body.

Mr Bevan replaces Gill Kirk, who resigned her seat on the Board after she took up a post with the Department of Education. Employees are not permitted to serve on the Board.

The Board yesterday interviewed four candidates. Education Minister Anne Craine MHK said:

‘I am very pleased to welcome Mr Bevan to the Board of Education. He is a man who has close knowledge of the schools in Ramsey, having been both a scholar there himself and now a parent. ‘He is involved with youth in the community and has a sound understanding of the needs of young people. I am confident that he will make a valuable contribution to our education service. We were fortunate to have a strong field of candidates from whom to choose and I would like to thank them all for their willingness to participate in the process of selection.’

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