Articles from May 2017



CYBER-SECURITY ADVICE

CYBER-SECURITY ADVICE

Online security remains vitally important as we have seen over the past few weeks with concentrated cyber attacks on a range of institutions in the UK and elsewhere.

Keep in mind these simple rules to make sure you are protecting yourself and your personal information from being compromised:

  • If you are at all suspicious of any communication received from a source known to you, confirm it is real by contacting the sender by another method.
  • Do not open attachments or click on links within any unsolicited or dubious emails and never respond to emails that ask you for your password. Reputable organisations and authorities will not do this.
  • Do not provide personal or financial details without confirming the source and carefully considering the potential results of doing so.
  • The senders name and number in a text message can be ‘spoofed’ (forged), so even if the message appears to be form an organisation you know of, exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.

If you need to contact use a number known and trusted by you.

Early years providers recognised for good practice

Early years providers recognised for good practice

Early years providers were recognised for good practice at a presentation at University College Isle of Man (UCM) last night.

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Dhoon Primary School’s combined Reception/Year 1 class received the Manx Step into Quality Award.

 

A further six award-holders achieved post-verification certificates after demonstrating continued quality of practice.

 

Hopes and Dreams in Woodbourne Road, Douglas; Sandcastles at Cronk-y-Berry Nursery and Marown and Henry Bloom Noble’s primary schools’ Reception classes achieved Manx Step into Quality in 2016 and Hopes and Dreams’ nurseries at The Buchan School and Parklands in 2015.

 

The voluntary Manx Step into Quality Award takes a year to achieve and measures early years settings on six criteria.

 

The scheme is run by UCM. Tina Moore, co-ordinator, explained: ‘The Manx Step into Quality Award enables providers to evaluate their practice and identify areas that can be developed.

 

‘To gain the award, settings focus on the environment and routines they provide, the interactions between staff and children, the links to develop the positive relationships with parents and leadership and management.

 

‘The award has a positive impact on children and promotes staff development.’

 

At the ceremony, Butterflies Day Nursery, Sulby, and The Ark Community Nursery, Douglas, received post-award verification certificates after achieving the full, two-year Manx Quality Award in 2014.

 

The award has eight modules – opportunities and experiences; relationships with children, parents and the wider community; working together as a team; routines; the great outdoors; interactions; meeting everyone’s needs and management and business – and takes two years to complete.

 

Geoff Moorcroft, Director of Education with the Department of Education and Children, said: ‘Good early years experiences boost children’s chances of doing well in their formal education and later in life.

 

‘The awards are an important way of the Department recognising quality in early years settings and providers are encouraged to work towards them.

‘As we work in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care to continue to develop the regulatory framework for pre-school settings pledged in the Programme for Government, this will enable all settings have access to similar advice and support.’

Agreement on marine mammal conservation extended to Island

Agreement on marine mammal conservation extended to Island

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An international agreement on whale, dolphin and porpoise conservation has been extended to the Island – complementing the excellent work already being done locally to protect the species.

 

The Isle of Man is now signed up to the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS).

 

The Island joins a network of 10 European countries working together to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises.

 

The agreement covers the Irish Sea, North East Atlantic, Baltic Sea and North Sea.

 

Manx waters are home to harbour porpoises, while Risso’s, common and bottlenose dolphins are regular visitors.

 

Whales, dolphins and porpoises are protected under the Island’s Wildlife Act.

 

Conserving marine life is vital to the Island’s biodiversity, economy and status as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve.

The Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) works closely with the Manx Wildlife Trust and Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch.

Dr Fiona Gell, Senior Biodiversity Officer: Marine with DEFA, said: ‘Whales and dolphins can travel long distances so international cooperation is important to ensure their conservation.

 

‘Signatories to ASCOBANS work to reduce threats to the species, including accidental capture in fisheries, litter, pollution, shortage of food like sand eels, habitat loss and climate change.

 

‘The extension of this agreement to the Island complements the good work we are doing in this area with local organisations and the public.

 

‘We work with the Manx Wildlife Trust to record dead marine mammals found washed up and report them to a UK database. Samples are taken to monitor levels of pollution in them.

 

‘Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch’ survey work and public sighting scheme has helped us gain a much better understanding of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Manx waters.

 

‘Marine conservation measures we’ve taken such as the introduction of the Ramsey Marine Nature Reserve and our new inshore conservation zones help to sustain the environment these species need.’

 

The public is asked to report whale, dolphin and porpoise sightings Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch via their website: www.mwdw.net/

 

They should report dead or stranded whales, dolphins and porpoises to the Manx Wildlife Trust on 01624 844432 or DEFA on 01624 685837.

 

Boat users should keep their distance from marine mammals.

Young adults invited to represent Island at UNESCO Biosphere forum

Young adults invited to represent Island at UNESCO Biosphere forum

Young adults are invited to apply to represent the Isle of Man at a major global youth forum discussing sustainability.

 

The event, being held in Italy from 18th-23rd September, will bring together 18 to 35-year olds from UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) regions.

 

The Island was admitted to the MAB world network of Biosphere reserves last year, in recognition that it is ‘a special place for people and nature’.

 

The youth forum – the first MAB has held – will seek to ‘harness the energy and innovation’ of young adults from member areas as it debates sustainability.

 

Three delegates will be chosen from the Isle of Man and their trip will be funded by UNESCO and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

 

It’s anticipated that the successful individuals would, on their return, help form a Young Persons’ Focus Group for Biosphere Isle of Man, advising how the Island can involve the younger generation in Biosphere activities.

 

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK chairs the Isle of Man Stakeholder Partnership Group, which

is ensuring the Island gains maximum benefit from UNESCO’s recognition.

 

He said: ‘The Programme for Government promises to build and promote our UNESCO Biosphere accreditation for the benefit of our economy, environment and community.

 

‘The Programme strongly emphasises the important of sustaining our quality of life.

 

‘Young people are the future of Biosphere reserves and should be given a voice in how the Island harnesses the accolade.

 

‘We hope young adults with a commitment to and passion for our Island will take advantage of their chance to influence its future.’

 

Applications are open to young adults working in, dedicating their studies to and/or active in community groups in the Island.

 

To apply for a place at the forum or obtain more information about it, email Peter.Longworth@gov.im before Thursday 8th June.

 

Applicants must supply basic personal details such as name, address, email, daytime phone number and date of birth, plus a letter explaining what motivates their application.

 

Applicants will be shortlisted for interview in the Island and assessed on their understanding of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere programme and their ideas on how their input could enrich the programme locally.

 

Visit the event webpage http://en.unesco.org/events/2017-mab-youth-forum for further details.

 

For information on Biosphere Isle of Man, visit www.biosphere.im/index.php, follow UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man on Facebook and @BiosphereIoM on Twitter and Instagram.

Athletes and officials educated on anti-doping rules ahead of NatWest Island Games

Athletes and officials educated on anti-doping rules ahead of NatWest Island Games

Isle of Man Sport has hosted a third weekend of anti-doping workshops for the Isle of Man team travelling to next month’s NatWest Island Games.

Sessions conducted at the Sports Institute by Granville Bennett, Educator for UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), were attended by 51 athletes and officials.

It brings to 170 the number of Games participants who have benefited from the workshops – held as part of Isle of Man Sport’s new anti-doping education and testing programme.

An advisory body to Government, Isle of Man Sport has responsibility for ensuring the World Anti-Doping Agency code is adhered to in the Island.

The ‘Clean Sport’ workshops offered advice on governance, reporting and testing procedures and substances that are banned but may be in products such as over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

The workshops reinforced UKAD’s ‘100 Percent Me’ message – that success should come solely from talent, determination and hard work.

All those representing the Island in Sweden from 24th to 30th June have now had the chance to attend a workshop.

Paul Callow, Business Administrator for Isle of Man Sport, said: ‘The Isle of Man has a great sporting reputation and its athletes are highly respected on the world stage.

‘For a member of a Manx team to fail a drug test would not only damage the individual’s good name but the Island’s, too.

‘We are dedicated to doing all we can to ensure the team is up to date with anti-doping rules.’

In the next phase of the programme, Isle of Man Sport will invite local sports enthusiasts to become trained to deliver anti-doping courses.

TT corner named in memory of Raymond Caley

TT corner named in memory of Raymond Caley

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A corner of the TT Course has been named in memory of Raymond Caley who passed away in February this year.

Raymond Caley was a well-known local character and ran Caley’s General Store and Post Office in Sulby for many years. As one of the founding members of the MGP Supporters Club, Raymond made a significant contribution to safety and fundraising for racing on the TT Course, including raising sufficient sums in 1976 for the medical helicopter cover to be extended for practice week. The MGP Supporters Club continues to raise funds to support the work of the medical helicopters.

Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for the Department of Economic Development, commented:

‘It is a fitting tribute to a great local character and supporter of racing on the Island that a new sign has been installed on the TT Course. He will be remembered and missed by many who knew and came into contact with him.’

David Knight, three-time world champion enduro rider and friend of Raymond Caley, said:

‘I am proud that we have been able to honour the memory of Raymond Caley. For years he worked tirelessly in support of the Island’s Races and I thank the Department and the MGP Supporters Club for their help in commemorating his lifetime contribution.’

The new Caley’s Corner sign was installed this week and sits at the top of the Sulby Straight.

Businesses Beware

Businesses Beware

The OFT is warning businesses to look out for an official-looking letter from a German company concerning “VAT Registration Numbers”.  The OFT issued a similar warning in 2013 and it looks as though businesses on the Island may be being targeted again.

In the letter, it says that: “As part of the changes to the EU economic package, obligating all companies to provide their VAT Registration Number on various documents since 2010, we as a publisher of leading internet portals, are required to update our database.”

The letter gives the impression that businesses are somehow obliged to provide the German company with their VAT Registration Numbers.  This is not the case.

Providing the company with new information and/or confirming that existing information held by them is correct could cost you hundreds of pounds, as the company will almost certainly charge a substantial recurring annual fee for the information to be published on a “Corporate Portal”.

Anyone who receives one of these letters should bin it, unless they are prepared to incur a substantial recurring annual fee.

Sporty youngsters praised for volunteer work 

Sporty youngsters praised for volunteer work

sure

Sporty youngsters who encouraged others to get fit and active have been praised by Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children.

 

Forty-two 16-year-olds signed up for the Sure Sports Leader Programme last summer.

 

They attended a week-long camp, receiving training in coaching skills, safeguarding and protecting children, emergency first aid, teaching and disability inclusion.

 

They were then mentored over the summer by qualified and experienced Manx Sport and Recreation (MSR) coaches.

 

Since September, they have honed their coaching skills as volunteers at MSR activities, clubs and schools, recording their hours in logbooks.

 

Between them, the young people gave up 1,529 hours at events and schemes MSR runs for children.

 

Minister Cregeen said: ‘Our Strategy for Sport encourages people into an active lifestyle from an early age, with all the benefits it brings.

 

‘Activity improves physical, mental and social wellbeing and prevents problems down the line that can be costly for individuals and society.

 

‘Through the Sure Sports Leader Programme, young people with an interest in sport encourage those even younger than them to get and stay active.

 

‘They also acquire skills that will boost their CVs and chances of a career in sport, if they want to pursue that route.

 

‘I congratulate the young people for their work and thank Sure Isle of Man for its year-round commitment to encouraging young people to take up and enjoy sport and adopt a healthy lifestyle.’

 

Sure presents awards annually and in the autumn and spring term to the young people who give up the most time.

 

Overall winner in 2016/17 was George Dickinson, who attends St Ninian’s High School. He completed nearly 100 hours as a volunteer on top of exams and other commitments.

 

George was today presented with an iPad by Sarah Jarvis, Marketing and PR Manager with Sure Isle of Man.

 

He will be invited onto the stage at the 2017 Isle of Man Sports Awards to receive a trophy marking his commitment.

 

Ashleigh Lachenicht, a student at University College Isle of Man, volunteered for 75 hours during the spring term, and received a £100 Sure voucher in recognition of this.

 

Kirsten Vickery, of Ramsey Grammar School, completed 73.5 hours and received a £75 Sure voucher. George Dickinson received a £50 voucher for the 72.5 hours he committed that term.

 

Sarah Jarvis said: ‘I am always amazed to learn just how much time and effort the young Sports Leaders put in, every minute of which helps to promote sport and teamwork for children on the Island.

 

‘It’s even more amazing when you consider that these young people are usually in sixth form and, at a hectic period in life, they still find time to devote to activities that truly make a difference to their community.

 

‘I am immensely proud that Sure supports the Sports Leaders programme and I wish all the volunteers every success for the future.’

 

For more information on the 2017/18 Sure Sports Leader Programme, contact Sam Caine, Community Sports Development Officer, via Sam.Caine@gov.im or 01624 688557.

 

New headteacher for St Ninian’s High School

New headteacher for St Ninian’s High School

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Chris Coole has been appointed headteacher of St Ninian’s High School with effect from September 2017.

He replaces Andy Fox, who has been the school’s head since 2009 and who retires in August.

Mr Coole attended Rushen Primary School and Castle Rushen High School. He graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in geography and development studies, then gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

He started his career teaching geography at Queen Elizabeth II School before moving to the UK to work at Harrogate Granby High School and then, as head of geography, at Crawshaw School in Pudsey, West Yorkshire.

He returned to the Island in 2004 as head of geography at St Ninian’s and was promoted to be the school’s assistant headteacher.

For the last two years he has been a deputy headteacher at Ballakermeen High School.

He lives in Ballabeg with his wife and two daughters and, in his spare time, enjoys cycling and is a member of Ellan Vannin Cycling Club.

Mr Coole said: ‘While it will be sad to leave my colleagues at Ballakermeen, I am delighted to be returning to St Ninian’s and very much look forward to building on the good work of Mr Fox.

‘It is an exciting time in secondary education and I am very proud to be given the opportunity to lead this successful school.’

Geoff Moorcroft, Director of Education, paid tribute to the outgoing head, saying: ‘Andy’s dedication and commitment to education has been unwavering throughout his 32 years in Isle of Man schools.

‘Andy’s vision and commitment to the development of students as rounded individuals has helped to create a school with a reputation for being a friendly and welcoming place.

‘He oversaw an overhaul of the school’s curriculum, managed the development of the lower school at Bemahague and led a consistent improvement in the school’s standards. He has been responsible for providing numerous development opportunities for colleagues, creating many current and future leaders.

‘On behalf of the Department, I would like to wish him a happy and fulfilling retirement.’

St Ninian’s High School has 1,265 pupils on the register.

Public invited to mark Armed Forces Day

Public invited to mark Armed Forces Day

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The public is invited to take part in the Isle of Man’s Armed Forces Day on Sunday 25th June.

 

Local men and women serving in the armed forces will join veterans in a parade along Douglas’s promenades at 3pm and at a church service at the Villa Marina at 3.40pm.

 

The multi-denominational service, led by Archdeacon Andie Brown, will have the theme ‘Peace and security for all, hard won by the few.’

 

In what is a moving highlight of the service, serving personnel returning to the Island for the occasion are welcomed into the Royal Hall with a standing ovation.

 

The day culminates in afternoon tea and an evening of entertainment.

 

Brigadier Norman Butler CBE chairs the Armed Forces’ Day organising committee, which has the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor, the President of Tynwald and the Chief Minister and is made up of representatives of all the Island’s ex-service organisations.

 

‘Armed Forces Day is a Manx National Day and celebrates the service, past and present, of Manx men and women members of the military, including the merchant marine and our Reserves,’ said Brigadier Butler.

 

‘The parade of serving personnel, veterans, cadets, emergency services and schools, and the service in the Villa Marina are always deeply moving occasions.

 

‘The Villa Marina is always packed for the service, giving thanks for the work of the armed forces and remembering those who fell in service. The tea afterwards is a chance for everyone to meet old friends and comrades, mingle and reminisce.’

 

Brigadier Butler continued: ‘Sadly, the numbers of veterans able to take part is diminishing. The youngest World War Two veterans are now in their 90s and the youngest National Servicemen in their late 70s.

 

‘However, we are much encouraged by the increasing contribution of our youth and the recent establishment of a Manx Reserve Unit.

 

‘We hope anyone with a connection with the armed forces, past or present, will apply for tickets for the event, which are free of charge, and join us as we give thanks for all the armed forces have done, and continue to do.’

 

Juan Watterson MHK, the Isle of Man Government’s Armed Forces Champion, said: ‘The Isle of Man has a long and proud tradition of service in conflict and peace-keeping.

 

‘It is appropriate that we combine as a community to commemorate the efforts of local men and women past and present, near and far, in ensuring the freedoms we cherish today.’

 

Application forms for tickets for Armed Forces Day can be obtained from the Villa Marina, the Isle of Man Government Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the Veterans’ Agency at Markwell House, the Manx Legion Club in Douglas, public libraries in Onchan and Ramsey and Commissioners’ offices or by returning the form that appears in this week’s Isle of Man Examiner and Isle of Man Courier.

 

Forms should be returned to Ann Wilson at 1 Kensington Avenue, Douglas, IM1 3ET.

 

Armed Forces Day is a British-Isles-wide event and a national event in the Isle of Man.

 

You can follow news of the event on the Facebook page Armed Forces Day Isle of Man.

 

For the 10th time in the 11-year history of the event, students from the Department of Education and Children’s five secondary schools will take part in the parade and service and Queen Elizabeth II High School’s Junior Choir will perform.