Recruitment and retention of teachers is a big problem. Academies are almost ubiquitous in England, and they pay whatever it takes to get the staff they want, irrespective of national agreements, and it's hard for the IoM to compete. Secondary schools on the island have come up with various wheezes - training final year students and offering the best ones jobs, and so on, but after a couple of years they tend to leave so you have an imbalanced workforce with many lacking experience. Ultimately we will have the teachers we are prepared to pay for. The DESC is wholly dysfunctional, stuffed with failed primary school teachers, and civil servants with little relevant knowledge, all presided over by a huge OHR which serves no discernible purpose. Teachers, and particularly headteachers who have to deal with the department, have scant or no confidence in it, and with ample justification. The education ministers have been spectacularly useless ever since Victor Kneale quit the scene, but other than deciding when there's a snow day they make few real decisions - except for building new schools in the wrong places, and keeping country schools and out of Douglas sixth forms going for political reasons.