Education Minister plans two new St Helier primary schools by 2028

Jersey's government has suggested three options for creating new primary schools in St Helier. Credit: PA

Jersey's Education Minister will put forward plans to build two new primary schools in St Helier by 2028.

Deputy Inna Gardiner hopes a new two-form entry school will be built on the old Jersey Gas site by 2026, with Rouge Bouillon relocating to a larger site before 2028.

She says town is in desperate need of extra schools: "St Helier is home to a third of our population, and some of the most vulnerable children in our island – it is absolutely vital that children in town have access to modern, high-quality facilities, and outdoors play areas."

Three preferred options to create the new schools were published by the Infrastructure Department. They include extending or re-developing existing schools or new sites where a school could be built:

  • Creating a new two-form entry school on the old Jersey Gas site including a 30-place nursery and an 'Additional Resource Centre' for up to 24 children with social, emotional or mental health needs.

  • Re-developing Plat Douet School to make it a three-form entry school

  • Re-locating Rouge Bouillon School to turn it into a three-form entry school, at a new - yet to be chosen - site somewhere "between the Rouge Bouillon roundabout and Castle Quay".

The options were shortlisted based on the proportion of children who would be able to walk to school in 10 minutes.

The Education Minister says Rouge Bouillon School will move to a new site by 2027-28. Credit: ITV Channel Television

The Education Department previously raised the need for two new primary schools in town, but there have been issues identifying suitable locations with enough teaching and outside space.

Deputy Gardiner explains why the sites were chosen:

"I will be recommending to the Council of Ministers that a new school needs to be built centrally at Gas Place next to Millennium Park. My aim is for the new central school to be complete in four years' time – in 2026.

"I am aware of the significant interest and concerns from islanders in finding a suitable replacement for Rouge Bouillon School – and we are in active engagement with various stakeholders to look into a suitable new site between Rouge Bouillon roundabout and Castle Quay. I intend for the new school to be complete in 2027-28 and will provide a decision in the new year."

Jersey's Education Minister, Deputy Inna Gardiner Credit: ITV Channel Television

She added that St Helier is also in need of new green space: "We must also be mindful of the need to ensure the town population have access to green community spaces, whether this be through the creation of new green pockets or through the access to new school facilities beyond the school day.

"Alongside this, we will need to develop Plat Douet School to maximise its potential and meet the growing need for school places. We need long-term solutions to an ageing school estate in town, and we must continue progressing this work at pace to ensure our children are able to learn, grow and thrive at their school."