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Director of Education wants teachers to "coalesce" around new model

Director of Education wants teachers to

Thursday 16 September 2021

Director of Education wants teachers to "coalesce" around new model


Guernsey's new Director of Education has called for the profession's ideas and support to help make the island's new school system a success.

Nick Hynes has worked in local education since 2010, most recently as Head of Inclusion and Services for Children and Schools, a post he has held for the last two-and-a-half years.

His appointment as the Director of Education has filled a pivotal role in the Education Office which has remained unfilled ever since Alan Brown left in 2017 after five years in the senior strategic role.

“It is a really exciting time,” said Mr Hynes of the role. “I don’t think it is daunting, there are always going to be challenges as education doesn’t stand still.”

One of those important to him, and across the education sphere, is the development in education of the skills needed to not only to prosper in learning environments, but in life.

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Pictured: The final decision means La Mare de Carteret will officially close in 2024. 

“We want our young people to be able to communicate effectively, have positive physical and emotional wellbeing; the so-called ‘soft skills’ that are actually integral.

“We know we are doing that successfully from school surveys, but there is always something to improve upon.”

After years of uncertainty since the States voted to end selection at 11, it was agreed last week to introduce three 11-16 schools and a single sixth form co-located with the Guernsey Institute.

St Sampson’s, Les Beaucamps and Les Varendes will be the bases for secondary education, while the current building at Les Ozouets will be demolished and re-constructed for post-16 education.

Those proposals came under fire from some teaching unions and a survey of staff reported that 87% of those working in secondary education did not support the plans. 

“I think it is getting back to the why we are doing what we do – it is the education of young people and adult learners.

“We have leaders in our schools who have very high level of skills and integrity. Even though there may have been different views, I am absolutely sure they will do everything they can to make it successful.”

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Pictured: In September 2023, there will be no Year 7 intake into La Mare de Carteret. In July 2024, it is proposed that pupils at La Mare de Carteret in Years 8, 9 and 10 will finish the year at La Mare de Carteret and move to join their peers at Les Varendes in Years 9, 10 and 11 in September.

Mr Hynes said it is important to “garner the trust” of those in education and the wider community. He says the agreed model brings stability and will bring a new focus to staff engagement. 

“I think there has been a high level of engagement,” said Mr Hynes. “We have reached a point now where that engagement changes focus to ‘this is the agreed model, we want your support and ideas for how we can deliver it successfully’.

“It is more about coalescing now around this model and delivering it. I have great confidence that our teachers have a high level of skills, integrity and are professional enough to support the delivery.”

“Whether everyone agreed with the model or not, it will bring stability to the education system.”

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