Video: Minister Rabain & Minister Furbert

February 27, 2023

[Updated] Minister of Education Diallo Rabain and Minister of Social Development and Seniors Tinee Furbert are holding a press conference this morning [Feb 27] “to discuss their Ministry’s budget initiatives.” You can watch the live video below and view all our coverage of the 2023 Budget here.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the replay is below

Update 4.55pm: Minister Rabain’s remarks:

Good day Bermuda,

I am delighted to be here today to share with you how the 2023/24 Ministry of Education Budget Allocation will support our commitment to providing strategic leadership and policy direction for education and life-long learning.

For the fiscal year 2023/24, the Ministry of Education has budgeted $139.8 million to carry out our remit, which reflects an increase of $3.7 million from the 2022/23 revised estimate.

Education Reform

On a path to a better Bermuda, our Ministry wholeheartedly believes that Education Reform and the transformation of the Bermuda Public School System are vital for our children’s and our future’s success.

As we continue with our third year of Education Reform, we are confident that the work that is being undertaken by our staff, community members, and change partners will enable us to achieve the priority areas for our strategic plan, which are:

  • 1. Increasing academic rigour and student engagement
  • 2. Ensuring career, College, and workforce readiness
  • 3. Enhancing the quality of teacher practice and system leadership
  • 4. Improving the infrastructure and instructional resources
  • 5. Ensuring system success

Over the last two years, the Ministry’s budget has funded several Education Reform initiatives that are well underway.

In September 2022, the first two Signature Learning Programmes were phased in at CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute for incoming S1 students.

This includes:

47 students engaged in the Financial and Insurance Services and 58 students engaged in the Health and Social Care Signature Learning Programmes at the Berkeley Institute and 66 students engaged in the Trades and Professions, and 84 students engaged in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math [STEM] Signature Learning Programmes at CedarBridge Academy. 17 students have chosen to continue with a traditional pathway.

The learning that our S1s are currently engaged in will create a generation of young people who are engaged, adaptive, entrepreneurial, innovative, culturally connected, and empowered. These attributes will enable our young people to be creators of the jobs of the future, to be active citizens and tackle increasingly complex challenges.

However, this is just the beginning. Whilst our educators at The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy are delivering our first year of Signature Learning Programmes, they’re using the learning garnered through this process to shape what is required for S2 and S3. And we’re not stopping at just what happens in the Signature Learning Programmes, teams of teachers at both Signature Senior Schools are also focusing on redesigning the first two disciplines in the core curriculum: Mathematics and Science and on scaling a new model of advisory, which caters to the more important than ever area of social-emotional learning.

To move forward with the next phase of Education Reform, this Government is increasing our commitment and investment to ensure we have the right people in place to govern, lead and deliver Education Reform for Bermuda.

The PLP government has allocated additional funding to support the following:

  • The continued transformation of Francis Patton Primary School and Purvis Primary School to Parish Primary Schools as they prepare to begin operations as a Parish Primary Schools in September 2023
  • The preparation for the introduction of a third Signature Senior School at the Sandys SSMS site in September 2024
  • Preparation for additional transformed schools in the upcoming years
  • The Learning First Programme, which is the foundation of Education Reform and in 2023/24, will focus on restructuring curriculum and learning while strengthening teacher development and education. And,
  • The ongoing operations of the Education Reform Unit.

The Education Reform Unit, which compromises specialists from within and beyond education, is responsible for ensuring all system conditions are in place and delivered on time, on budget and to standards comparable with a world-class education.

The focus of the Education Reform Unit in the 2023/24 fiscal year include:

  • Reorienting the system to nurture, empower and sustain the transformation of our schools;
  • Redesigning models of learning, teaching and schooling
  • Rebuilding the infrastructure;
  • Reengaging stakeholders;
  • Reconceptualising how the system and schools are governed; and, importantly;
  • Remembering the history and legacy of education in Bermuda.

Let me provide more detail on the last two areas of focus.

The Education Authority and History and Legacy Committee

In keeping our promise to establish both an Education Authority and History and Legacy Committee.

Key to the success of Education Reform is the introduction of a new governance and management structure and culture. The Education Authority Working Group is tasked with providing, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, recommendations and proposals to the Government on establishing and operationalising the Education Authority, including, as stated in the Speech from the Throne last November that “the Government will advance a Bill to create an Education Authority in the 2023 legislative year”.

The Education Authority will take full responsibility for Public Education, thereby minimising the politicisation of Public Education. The Authority will have a Board, and each school will have a School Board accountable to the main Authority Board. The Authority will replace the Department of Education – all of the Department’s responsibilities will transfer to the Authority.

The History and Legacy committee will also be established to document, honour, and commemorate Bermuda’s educational and school history. Not only is this work vital for our community, but it is also critical to our understanding of who we are as Bermudians.

The Ministry of Education is dedicated to transforming the existing system, built on the history and legacy of our ancestors so that we can unlock every child’s potential and create a better environment for successful schools.

We are investing in the future of Bermuda and recruiting the entire community to engage in the process.

The Department of Education

The Department of Education will continue to provide our Bermuda Public School System students with equitable access to holistic, high-quality instruction that is culturally relevant and empowers them to reach their full potential.

The Department will focus on teaching and operational resources to support staffing, curriculum, infrastructure, and development for implementing the two parish primary schools in September 2023.

The Ministry of Education is also responsible for the Department of Libraries & Archives and the Bermuda College.

Bermuda Government Scholarships and Awards and The Bermuda College

Our Ministry recognises the continued necessity of supporting students in their pursuit of tertiary education and its overall impact on our economy.

In 2023/24, the Ministry has budgeted $630,000 for external grants, and of those funds, $450,000 has been set aside to fund the merit-based “College Promise” programme. These funds are awarded to public school graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher with a $5,000 scholarship to attend Bermuda College.

Also, over $1.3 million dollars will be allocated to the Ministry’s annual Scholarships and Awards programme. These include Bermuda Government Scholarships, Non- Traditional Student Awards, Further Education Awards, Minister’s Achievement Scholarships, Applied Science Scholarships, Exceptional Student Awards, Technical & Vocational Awards and, Bermuda College Book Awards. These awards enable students to obtain education they may not have access to otherwise.

In 2023/24 the annual grant to the Bermuda College will remain the same as last year at $14.6 million dollars.

In 2023/24 the Bermuda College will continue to work with the Department of Education to provide college courses to qualified students through its Dual Enrolment programme as part of the new Signature Learning programmes introduced to the Bermuda Public School System curriculum. The College will continue to forge alliances with professional credentialing and accrediting agencies for workforce development and professional certifications, such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants [ACCA], Building Owners and Managers Institute [BOMI] for building owners and managers, City & Guilds for the applied sciences; Global Knowledge for information technology, International Compliance Association [ICA], Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists [ACAMS] and KIXKO for compliance; and local professional bodies.

The College will implement a prior learning assessment programme to allow students to earn college credit for learning gained outside of a traditional academic environment. It will also develop an entrepreneurship course as part of its Associate in Business programme and complement its technical education programmes.

Bermuda College will also continue to expand its articulation agreements with higher education institutions in the United Kingdom and throughout North America to ensure a seamless transition for Bermuda College graduates who wish to pursue additional education at 3 and 4-year institutions.

As part of the Government’s agenda this year, Bermuda College will utilise a $300,000 tuition grant to assist students with financial needs in the academic and APACE divisions. A comparative number of students is anticipated to be assisted with the 2023/24 grant.

Libraries and Archives

The Department of Libraries & Archives facilitates access to information for research, inspiration, lifelong learning and recreation. The 2023/24 budget allocation for the Department of Libraries and Archives is approximately $3 million dollars.

In 2023/24, in keeping with international trends, the Department has eliminated the fines for overdue books. We believe that this, in conjunction with the increase use of e-books, has reduced the number of books reported as lost.

The Department also plans to update its public computer equipment/workstations in the upcoming year, and this will enable our plan to offer basic computer tutelage. Through assisting patrons and observing data, it is evident that there is a need to support the technology timid as the Department found that a vulnerable segment of the populace that is being left behind [evidenced by many patrons not knowing what a mouse is, how to get onto the internet or that they must remember their passcodes etc.].

An investment of $23,000 will be used to upgrade the security systems at the Government Record Centre.


Bermuda, Education Reform remains our main priority as we focus on helping our children to follow their passions and interests, build on their talents and capabilities, and achieve their career and further aspirations.

We are creating schools and a school system where every child has great learning outcomes and life opportunities for them, our economy, and our nation’s future.

Today, I have provided a brief overview of what the next fiscal year will involve, and I encourage all to tune in on Monday, March 13, where I will go into further depth about the total budget.

Rest assured that our efforts will continue to transform education in Bermuda because we recognise that education is undoubtedly one of the most critical aspects in our path to a better Bermuda.

Update 5.10pm: Minister Furbert’s remarks:

Good day Bermuda,

I am grateful to be here today to share with you key initiatives that will be supported by the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors 2023/24 Budget allocation.

The Ministry’s budget has increased by 8%, reflecting a total budget allocation of twenty-six million, four hundred and thirty-nine dollars [$26,439,000].

This funding covers the operations of the Ministry Headquarters, the Department of Child & Family Services, Ageing & Disability Services, and the K. Margaret Carter Centre.

The increase in the budget allocation will allow the Ministry to continue to be effective in executing its responsibility of formulating and advancing social policy initiatives in Bermuda that aim to protect all individuals during their lifetime and that facilitate their well-being.

The budget increase also demonstrates our continued commitment to Bermuda’s most vulnerable and cherished population groups: our children, persons with disabilities, and our seniors.

The Ministry of Social Development and Seniors has ensured that the services and programmes offered by the Ministry will directly impact and improve the overall well-being and quality of life for these population groups.

Ageing and Disability Services

The Ministry has budgeted an additional one hundred and sixty-five thousand dollars [$165,000] to support Ageing and Disability Services in the purchase of a Structured Decision-Making Tool.

Decision-making for adult protection is most complex due to difficulties in reliably assessing the capacity of older adults for decision-making during ethical dilemmas raised when adults refuse services.

This tool is aligned with the remit of Ageing and Disability Services, which is to support and protect Bermuda’s seniors and persons with disabilities who are at risk of abuse or self-neglect.

A Structured Decision Making System comprising four assessment and implementation tools will reliably provide protective services to Bermuda’s adults 18 years and older who are at risk. The first phase of establishing this System will be implemented during the 2023/24 budget year.

Department of Child and Family Services – Independent Living Programme

With the responsibility of protecting Bermuda’s children and strengthening our families, the Department of Child & Family Services has been given an operational budget of $18.8 million. This reflects an increase of $1.1 million.

Roughly $284,000 has been budgeted for staffing needed for the opening of an Independent Living Programme. This is the first of its kind in Bermuda in that a ‘lifeline/safety net’ is being provided to young adults ageing out of Government care.

The community-based programme will provide housing, case management support, guidance, and connect them to educational, vocational, and life skills coaching with the opportunity to develop a comprehensive set of daily living, social, and communication skills.

This will provide our young adults with the best opportunity for success as they transition into adulthood.

Litigation Guardian Framework

As a further testament to our commitment to protecting our children, the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors has been very diligent in developing a Litigation Guardian Framework.

To ensure that the focus on the welfare of our children is paramount, the work that has been undertaken has been intentional in strengthening the partnership with the Courts.

During this current budget year, a new team of Litigation Guardians were trained in analytical writing for case reporting and essential litigation guardian best practices.

Additionally, training was provided for the Managers and Social Workers in the Department of Child and Family Services, members of the Family Court Panel, Judges, and Acting Magistrates.

This work will continue during the 2023/24 budget year to further develop and strengthen the Litigation Guardian Framework.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference [MARAC]

To support the vulnerable population of those in our community who find themselves victims of domestic abuse, a total of ninety-six thousand dollars [$96,000] has been budgeted to commence the 2022 Throne Speech Initiative of introducing a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference [MARAC] model in Bermuda.

This model will empower key agencies to engage in a more coordinated plan of action to help reduce domestic violence. At the heart of the MARAC model is that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but the combined insights are crucial for their safety.

This budget allocation will fund the hiring of a Domestic Abuse Specialist to support victims at all risk levels and the implementation of phase one of the MARAC model.

Work has already commenced with the Department of Child and Family Services and the Bermuda Police, in partnership with UK SafeLives.

Charitable Organisations

The Ministry of Social Development and Seniors will continue to provide grants to Third Sector Organisations that provide needed social services and programmes.

Additional funding has been allocated to support the charitable organisations HOME and Tomorrow’s Voices.

With homelessness, a growing concern in Bermuda, effecting the needed strategies and programmes will be essential to provide those persons already homeless and those at risk of being homeless with shelter and security to meet their needs.

The Ministry also recognises how crucial it is to support services and programmes for our youth who experience autism or who are on the Autism Spectrum, and will grant Tomorrow’s Voices an increase in funding.

Additionally, we will continue financial support of the following Third Sector Organisations:

  • Age Concern – $25,000
  • Women’s Resource Centre – $75,000
  • Center Against Abuse – $150,000
  • Care of the Blind [now known as Vision Bermuda] - $15,000
  • Nursing and Residential Homes – $1,445,000
  • Meals on Wheels – $50,000
  • Salvation Army – $550,000
  • Summerhaven – $600,000
  • Tomorrows Voices – $30,000
  • Home – $50,000


Other key initiatives that will be steered by the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors during the upcoming budget year include:

  • The release of a five-year National Plan for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities and Their Families
  • The establishment of a National Child Safeguarding Policy
  • Foundational work to improve long-term care for seniors, which will feed into the development of a National Seniors Strategy and assist with direction for long-term care that may be needed by people of any age

Bermuda, the Ministry of Social Development and Seniors is diligently working to support initiatives that demonstrate the Government’s ongoing commitment to improving the social well-being of our youth, our seniors, and persons with disabilities, which all contributes to a path to a better Bermuda.

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