£11.6 million needed to overhaul Jersey's education system

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Outdated, underfunded and unfair - that is the verdict of an independent report on Jersey's education system.

The review found that £11.6 million is needed to bring the island's education system in line with other countries in Europe. Figures show that several schools in the island are routinely running at a deficit, with the education department going £2.4 million over its budget in 2019.

£2.4 million

Jersey's Education Department's overspend in 2019

The report put forward 12 recommendations to overhaul the system, which are estimated to cost around £11.6 million to implement. However, the Government Plan, which is yet to be debated by the States Assembly, would see just £7.9 million invested in education in 2021 - only rising to £11.6 million after four years.

The report also highlighted an imbalance in investment between States-run schools and fee paying education providers in the island, saying that in total, private school students are benefitting from £15,000 more than their non fee-paying counterparts across their school career.

With this level of funding, children on Jersey achieve academic outcomes broadly in line with England, though disadvantaged children do not currently achieve well. There are also significant mental health and wellbeing challenges for children on Jersey, particularly around anxiety. Overall, there is a significant gap between current provision and the aspiration for a world class education system.

The Independent School Funding Review

The report puts forward a number of recommendations to bridge gaps in attainment and cut costs, including:

  • Making education mandatory for students up to the age of 18 to improve the strength of the island's labour market and productivity in the economy.

  • Merging some States-run schools such as D'Auvergne which is currently running at under capacity, to reduce spending on staffing and property costs

  • Reducing the amount of States funding provided to fee-paying schools. The report says that supporting fee-paying education providers makes up a 'significant proportion' of the government's education budget. It recommends introducing a system of means testing for this support, with funding retained from grants then allocated elsewhere in the education system.