Guernsey’s Committee for Education, Sport & Culture (ESC) is driving forward work on the secondary education review, with its President today providing an update on its progress.
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen told the States Assembly this morning that the Committee was directing the next phase of the review to ensure that, by using the right parameters and comparators, it delivers a model that is best suited to the needs of the island and which key stakeholders can support.
Education officers have met regularly with union representatives throughout the review and significant consultation has been carried out with secondary school staff. Following surveys carried out in July, a seven-week programme of workshops with secondary school staff concluded last week.
Deputy Dudley-Owen said the Committee is embracing its obligation to deliver a model for secondary education. “At the start of the new political term, a series of workshops with staff working in our secondary schools were already underway and we have waited for them to be completed before being fully briefed on the findings, which we now have been. Armed with that information, we are now directing the next phase of the review to ensure, by using the right parameters and comparators, we can identify and deliver a model that is best suited to the needs of the island and which our key stakeholders can support.
“While acknowledging the amount of detailed work done to date, including extensive and valuable consultation particularly with staff, because we know how important the views of those key stakeholders are, we are now considering how best to continue consulting and engaging with them. We recognise the vital role of the employee representative bodies and we know, because of the vocational calling of those working in our schools, that, like us, they will keep their focus on the most important stakeholders of all, our children and young people.”
The Committee has invited States Members to a session in early December to ensure political collaboration takes place as a key part of the review. Deputy Dudley-Owen wants Members to play an active role. “I today urged States Members, mindful of what is at stake here, not to sit on the side-lines simply watching our Committee get on with it.
“Each Deputy has a part to play in making sure this work is a success, it is what the island expects and deserves after so many years of waiting for a workable solution and a ‘once-and-for-all’ decision to be made. We will never find a model that ticks every box for everyone, but through compromise and collaborative working we can find, and implement, a model that is the very best fit for Guernsey, and we owe nothing less to the children and young people whose precious education we hold in our hands.
“Our Committee is approaching its work with realism, understanding well that we must now view everything through the new lens of our straitened financial position. The whole Assembly is also acutely aware of this fact.”