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Guernsey States asked to 'reaffirm' position on education reforms in amendment

The Policy and Resources Committee has put forward an amendment to a requête submitted by politicians calling for a halt to the plans. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Guernsey's Policy and Resources Committee will ask the States to 'reaffirm' its position on plans for secondary education in the island.

The Committee has put forward an amendment to a requête submitted by politicians calling for a halt to the proposed one-school, two-site model.

The plans were voted on in both January 2018 and September 2019, but have since faced strong opposition from members of the community including teachers, parents and local residents.

The amendment, Policy and Resources says, will keep 'current work streams on track' but also allow the concerns of the community to be heard during the approval process of the business case.

The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture would have to include how the current proposals compare with three-site models - including a co-located Sixth Form Centre.

Deputy Lyndon Trott, Vice-President of the States' Policy & Resources Committee, says the strength of feeling on this issue is unlike anything he has seen before.

This is an Amendment designed to offer the States choice on this crucially important issue. In my many years in politics I have never encountered such strong views from a large section of our community on a policy decision of the States that is so far down the road to delivery. And those views cannot, and must not, be ignored.

The Policy & Resources Committee both recognises those concerns, from the community and the teaching profession about the currently agreed plans, but also recognises the Requête potentially re-opens the broad discussion on secondary, and unintentionally, tertiary education provision where there is clearly far more support. Therefore the Policy & Resources Committee is laying this Amendment to provide leadership on this issue, so that the States of Deliberation may re-affirm, or otherwise, their support for previous educational policy principles it agreed in January 2018 and again in September 2019.

– Deputy Lyndon Trott, Vice-President of the Policy & Resources Committee

Education Committee has also brought forward an amendment which would allow the States to debate whether or not to fund additional space at the site, following concerns from teaching staff and politicians.

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