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Decision time

Decision time

Thursday 27 February 2020

Decision time


Two open letters were released ahead of this week's States debate which should see our deputies decide whether the island proceeds with the 'one-school' model or has a period of time to 'pause and review' the transformation process of Guernsey's secondary schools.

The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture insists its plans will give equality to all children attending States run schools, and the Lisia School model will lead to improved academic results.

But a campaign group, called People Power Guernsey, maintains the so-called 'two-school' model will be wrong for the island and that more time is needed to consider the impact on infrastructure around the two college sites as well as the effects on the education of generations of children. 

A requête calling for that 'pause and review' is on the agenda at this week's States debate, which started yesterday. There are six amendments to it, which can be read HERE. The requête is expected to be debated today, after the States finish considering an uprating report on pensions. 

prow_dudley-owen_meerveld_paint.jpg

Pictured: Deputies Andrea Dudley-Owen, Rob Prow and Carl Meerveld, have lodged the requête calling for a 'pause and review' to 'determine the best model of secondary education' for Guernsey.

It's difficult to predict what the outcome may be from the requête debate, as the States and community appear split on many issues relating to secondary education.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the States yesterday, calling for deputies to 'pause and review', while a petition signed by thousands of people was handed to Deputy Matt Fallaize at lunchtime, after a personal matter kept him away from the States during the morning's session.

With the education debate finally expected to get underway today, both the ESC committee and People Power Guernsey have asked for their views to be supported.

ESC said in their open letter: "It is easy to look at a single model of education, point out concerns about the red lines some people believe it crosses, and argue there must be a better model. Often this is done without identifying what that better model is or how it is suddenly going to be found after nearly five years of careful analysis of various models and at times divisive debate about the same issues."

In its own open letter, People Power Guernsey said there remains a number of concerns about the two-school model and they hope the States back their wish for a 'pause and review'.

"As you will know this week is vastly important and your vote in the States is likely to make a difference to Education in Guernsey for many years to come. We are really hoping it will be a vote to pause and review. In many ways such a vote will mean that secondary education will be delayed for a minimum amount of time. Any vote to continue with the one school, two sites process is going to delay education reforms further as this will inevitably become an election issue in June."

The States meeting got underway yesterday, but with a number of other items on the agenda, it was decided against moving the education requête forward to debate first. The debate on the Uprating Policy for States Penions will resume this morning, before the education requête is discussed, with a decision unlikely before tomorrow at the earliest.

Follow Express for updates...

Pictured top: Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of Education, Sport and Culture, and Mark Mauger of People Power Guernsey. 

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