Education on the Isle of Wight

Education on the Isle of Wight is provided by local education authority-maintained schools on the Isle of Wight, and independent schools. As a rural community, many of these schools are small, with average numbers of pupils lower than in many urban areas. It was decided on 19 March 2008, in a Whole Council Meeting, that the three-tier system would change into a two tier system. A report into the report on the re-organisation with proposals as to which schools would close was published in May 2008. There is also a college on the Isle of Wight and other less formal educational venues.

School system

The Isle of Wight now conforms to the general pattern of education in the United Kingdom in which pupils at state schools change schools at the age of eleven (see Education in England). Pupils at both of the island's independent schools also change school at the age of eleven. State schools on the island now uses a two-tier system.

Types of school

The following types of school now exist:

State schools

Independent schools

There are two independent schools on the Isle of Wight, which educate pupils from the early years to the age of 18:

    • Priory School, (Whippingham)
    • Junior School for pupils aged 4 to 11 years
    • Senior School for pupils aged 11 to 16 years
    • Sixth Form for pupils aged 16 to 18 years
    • Ryde School with Upper Chine, (Ryde)
    • Fiveways for pupils aged 3 to 7 years
    • Junior School for pupils aged 7 to 11 years
    • Senior School for pupils aged 11 to 16 years
    • Sixth Form for pupils aged 16 to 18 years

Timeline of the debate leading to the new arrangements

In 2006, the regional Learning and Skills Council proposed to replace the state school sixth forms with central provision at the Isle of Wight College. In January 2007, the authority rejected this proposal, and instead offered its own, which included a reduced number of secondary schools, and the retention of Year 9 pupils in Middle schools, extending their range to form 9–14 schools – a unique arrangement in the United Kingdom – and 14–19 provision at High Schools.[3]

In January 2008, more reforms were put forward, which could see the closure of at least half of the Island's primary schools. On 14 January 2008 it was announced that at least 23 primary schools and 1 middle school (likely to be Nodehill Middle School) would be closed by whichever education pathway was chosen in March.[4]

Option 1:

Primary/juniorhigh/learning centres, which would leave the Island with 32 primary schools, 10 Junior High Schools and 3 Learning Centres.

Option 2:

Two-tier primary/secondary set-up, which would leave the Island with 24 primary schools, 4 secondary schools and 1 faith college.

Option 3:

A similar two-tier set-up, which would leave the Island with 33 primary schools, 5 secondary schools and 1 faith college.

The schools would be spread out across the Island in Cowes, East Cowes, Ryde, East Wight, South East Wight, South Wight, West Wight and Newport. Trinity CE Middle School and ABK RC Middle School would join to form the faith college, Christ The King College, which will serve students from 11 – 19 once the transition phase is over, which would be based on the current Carisbrooke High School site.[5]

Under all the options currently on offer, all the island schools close, however some will re-open on the existing site, while others will be moved to new sites. The Isle of Wight Council says it could save up to £2 million a year in money that would be spent on small primary schools, that under the new system, wouldn't be needed. The changes will begin to be introduced from September 2010, although some could happen earlier.[6]

There were also calls for a fourth option of extending middle schools to year 9. This would save primary schools across the Island in rural locations and enable middle and high schools to almost continue to function as they are, although this fourth option is unlikely to go ahead.

The 'biggest protest the Island has ever seen'[7] occurred outside County Hall in Newport on Saturday 26 January at 10:00am lasting an hour until 11:00am, led by Isle of Wight Radio DJ Alex Dyke as a result of the Council's plans for education reforms. Between 1,000 and 1,250 took part in the protest, including parents, teachers and students. The Island MP Andrew Turner, with two other councillors also attended the protest, disagreeing with the plans.

More protests later occurred at Sandown, Shanklin and Ryde, with another at Newport. On 19 March 2008, a two-tier system was voted for by Isle of Wight councillors, bringing the island's school system into line with the rest of the country.

It was finally announced in the Isle of Wight County Press on 23 May 2008 which schools would be closed.[8]

The first of these reforms took place in September 2008, from the start of the new academic year. Archbishop King and Trinity Middle schools merged creating Christ the King College, with the old ABK site taking years 7 and 8, and the Trinity site taking years 5 and 6. Kitbridge Middle School also merged with Downside Middle school, creating two separate campuses. In September 2009, Christ the King College took another step towards becoming a secondary school, with its year 9 being retained rather than transitioning to high school.

Adult education

The Isle of Wight College provides a selection of courses, mostly offered on its campus in Newport. However, there are many other providers of adult education on the Isle of Wight including libraries, museums, Leisure Centres, West Wight Training Centre, Learning Links, Ventnor Community Projects, Quay Arts, Platform One and the Isle of Wight Council.

The local Council provides a wide range of adult and community learning opportunities. For example, the Council offers family learning opportunities, where parents and children learn together in schools. The Council also has developed community learning programmes which are delivered in communities to overcome difficulties in accessing learning such as time, transport and affordability.

GCSE results 2012

The first results after the 2012 Reorganisation were announced in October 2012. The Isle of Wight came 150th from 151 local authorities. [9]


From census data taken in 2001, the percentage of qualification levels of people aged 16–74, living on the Isle of Wight are:

Qualifications Isle of Wight England and Wales
No qualifications 30.19 29.08
Highest qualification attained Level 1 18.49 16.57
Highest qualification attained Level 2 20.76 19.38
Highest qualification attained Level 3 6.42 8.27
Highest qualification attained Level 4/5 15.27 19.76
Other qualifications/level unknown 8.87 6.94
  • Level 1 = 1+ O level passes, 1+ CSE/GCSE any grades, NVQ level 1, Foundation GNVQ
  • Level 2 = 5+ O level passes, 5+ CSEs (Grade 1s), 5+ GCSEs (grades A*-C), School Certificate, 1+ A levels/AS levels, NVQ level2, Intermediate GNVQ
  • Level 3 = 2+ A levels, 4+ AS levels, Higher School Certificate, NVQ level 3, Advanced GNVQ
  • Level 4/5 = First degree, Higher degree, NVQ levels 4 and 5, HNC, HND, Qualified Teacher Status, Qualified Medical Doctor, Qualified Dentist, Qualified Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor.[10]

See also

External links – some of which redirect to closed Middle Schools and might not work


  1. ^ "EduWight – Primary Schools on the Isle of Wight". Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  2. ^ "EduWight – High Schools on the Isle of Wight". Retrieved 11 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Schools shake-up a step nearer". Isle of Wight County Press. 26 January 2007. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  4. ^ School cull set to rock Island Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Which way forward for Island education?
  6. ^ Primary schools face decimation
  7. ^ Mass protest storms Newport Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Isle of Wight County Press – School Reform Plans Revealed". 2008. Archived from the original on 27 August 2008. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Census data

Bembridge is a village and civil parish located on the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight. It had a population of 3,848 according to the 2001 census of the United Kingdom, leading to the implausible claim by some residents that Bembridge is the largest village in England. Bembridge is home to many of the Island's wealthiest residents. The population had reduced to 3,688 at the 2011 Census.

Bembridge sits at the extreme eastern point of the Isle of Wight. Prior to land reclamation the area of Bembridge and Yaverland was almost an island unto itself, separated from the remainder of the Isle of Wight by Brading Haven. On the Joan Blaeu map of 1665, Bembridge is shown as Binbridge Iſle, nearly separated from the rest of Wight by River Yar.

Prior to the Victorian era Bembridge was a collection of wooden huts and farmhouses, which only consolidated into a true village with the building of the church in 1827 (later rebuilt in 1846).

Education reforms on the Isle of Wight

Education reforms on the Isle of Wight is part of a process to change the Isle of Wight's education from a three-tier system to a two-tier system. The debate as to how this should occur was first started in 2004, lasting until 2008. Three options were put forward at the start of 2008 as to what kind of education system would be best to move forward with. However, as all included the closure of large numbers of island schools, they produced a negative reaction with many local islanders, resulting in protests occurring in the main towns of Newport, Ryde, Shanklin and Sandown. A final decision was made in May, announcing which schools would be closed. The decision was made based on all three options put forward, instead of going down one definite path. The reforms were first implemented in September 2008, with everything aimed at completion by September 2010.

Island Innovation Trust

The Island Innovation Trust is a non-profit investment trust on the Isle of Wight. It is the foundation trust which act as parent for the newly created Carisbrooke College, Medina College and the Island Innovation VI Form Campus.

The island Innovation Trust has the following aim:

Its trust partners are Quay Arts, University of Portsmouth, Solo Agency and Promoters, Yokogawa Marex Limited, The Quarr Group and Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust (NHS Isle of Wight).

Island Innovation VI Form Campus

Island Innovation Sixth Form Campus (or Island Innovation VI Form Campus) is a joint provision Sixth Form Center between Carisbrooke College and Medina College on the Isle of Wight. It is located in the building previously occupied by Nodehill Middle School. It is controlled by the Island Innovation Trust.

Official lessons began on 12/09/2011.

The Isle of Wight County Press reported on 09/09/2011 that the building work was behind schedule, this was subsequently denied by Island Innovation Trust.

Isle of Wight College

The Isle of Wight training college is a general further education college (GFE).

List of schools on the Isle of Wight

This is a list of schools on the Isle of Wight, England.

Ryde Academy

Ryde Academy, is an academy status Secondary school, including sixth form, located in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, England.

Sandown Bay Academy

Sandown Bay Academy, formerly Sandown High School, was an academy status secondary school located in Sandown on the Isle of Wight, England. From 2012 to 31 August 2018 it was sponsored by the Academies Enterprise Trust. On 31 August 2018, the academy closed.

Southern Vectis

Southern Vectis is a bus operator on the Isle of Wight. The company was founded in 1921 as "Dodson and Campbell" and became the "Vectis Bus Company" in 1923. The company was purchased by the Southern Railway before being nationalised in 1969. In 1987, the company was re-privatised. Southern Vectis was accused of unfair trade practices and was investigated by the British Office of Fair Trading. In July 2005, it became a subsidiary of Go-Ahead Group.


Ventnor () is a seaside resort and civil parish established in the Victorian era on the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight, England, eleven miles (18 km) from Newport. It is situated south of St Boniface Down, and built on steep slopes leading down to the sea. The higher part is referred to as Upper Ventnor (officially Lowtherville); the lower part, where most amenities are located, is known as Ventnor. Ventnor is sometimes taken to include the nearby and older settlements of St Lawrence and Bonchurch, which are covered by its town council. The population of the parish in 2016 was about 5,800.

Ventnor became extremely fashionable as both a health and holiday resort in the late 19th century, described as the 'English Mediterranean' and 'Mayfair by the Sea'. Medical advances during the early twentieth century reduced its role as a health resort and, like other British seaside resorts, its summer holiday trade suffered the changing nature of travel during the latter part of that century.

Its relatively sheltered location beneath the hilly chalk downland produces a microclimate with more sunny days and fewer frosts than the rest of the island. This allows many species of subtropical plant to flourish; Ventnor Botanic Garden is particularly notable. Ventnor retains a strongly Victorian character, has an active arts scene, and is regaining popularity as a place to visit.


Not to be confused with Wrightbus, the bus manufacturer

Wightbus was a bus operator on the Isle of Wight, owned by the Isle of Wight Council. It operated a network of 13 local bus services running across the island, mostly services which would not have been viable for the island's dominant commercial operator, Southern Vectis, to operate.

Wightbus also provided school buses, and transported disabled adults to various day care centres on behalf of the council's social services department. A dial-a-bus service was run over some parts of the island to residents who would be unable to leave their homes to catch a regular service bus.

The Wightbus fleet was made up of 27 vehicles with capacities ranging from 16 to 72. Around 40 trained drivers and passenger-escort staff were employed. Over 1 million passengers travelled on Wightbus services annually.Wightbus was axed by the Isle of Wight Council in February 2011, with the last services operating on 2 September 2011. Under a new "Community Bus Partnership", Southern Vectis agreed to take on a number of routes previously operated by Wightbus to rural areas of the island in co-ordination with the Isle of Wight Council and the town and parish councils which the services run in. The services are all run by volunteer drivers.

Unitary authorities
Major settlements

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