The governance of Guernsey's Education Committee is "satisfactory", that is the conclusion of an independent review.

It found that although many challenges remain, the Committee has improved its effectiveness in recent months. 

The report is based on Committee papers, interviews with Committee members and former and current staff.

Professor Catherine Staite found that the Committee is driven by "strong moral principles" and have made "significant achievements" such as the development of the Guernsey Institute. She concluded it strives to be open and transparent.

Guernsey's President of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture, welcomed the review, saying the report "highlights strengths and weaknesses in governance" which is "useful to know", and it is a "fair and balanced assessment".

When forming the Committee we were very open in saying that the Education Office was in need of reform - this was something that many people inside and outside the States had argued for over a long period of time. At that time, the Education Office was not well equipped to provide the advice and support needed by the Committee to carry out the ambitious policy agenda on which it was elected.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, Guernsey's President of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture
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Deputy Matt Fallaize added that there was "always likely to be a divergence of views" due to the mix of interviews between current and former staff.

While the Committee had no involvement in any of the specific staff departures or movements at this time, it is fair to say we were supportive of the need for reform and fully backed the senior civil servants who were equally determined to make it happen.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, Guernsey's President of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture

The report also raised concerns about reforming secondary education, but noted that the Committee did not have sufficient "senior, experienced education policy professionals", to give advice and support.

The island's President of the Policy and Resources Committee says it has been a "transparent process with each report published and the review into the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture has followed that same process".

The report contains some useful recommendations that also pick up on themes from previous governance reviews too. It will be for the next States to take those forward.

Deputy Gavin St. Pier, Guernsey's President of the Policy and Resources Committee

The report gave six recommendations for the States of Guernsey as a whole, rather than for the Education Committee alone. 

Engaging with external stakeholders was identified as a consistent problem.

In interviews with Committee members, Professor Staite said they acknowledged mistakes had been made but that they had learned from them.

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It is the fourth report by Professor Staite assessing how various States committees are run.

The first examined the Health and Social Care Committee and criticised its independence from external influence and engagement with the public.

A second report into Home Affairs was damning of alleged 'bullying' by Committee President Deputy Mary Lowe.

The third into the Policy and Resources Committee found the island's senior political committee struggles with a "power vacuum" in government and that the island's political system was a barrier to effective governance.