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'Thought through not rushed through'

'Thought through not rushed through'

Thursday 23 January 2020

'Thought through not rushed through'

Thursday 23 January 2020

More than 2,000 people signed an online petition, calling for Guernsey's new 'two school' education model to be delayed, within 24 hours of it being launched.

Many have publicly criticised the plans, including 88 members of staff at St Sampson's High School who recently outlined their concerns in a letter.

Deputy Matt Fallaize and the rest of his Education, Sport and Culture Committee have been defending their proposals at numerous meetings with the public and interested parties, but that doesn't seem to have been enough for some.

Jess and Mark Mauger are still worried about the future of the local education system, which their four-year-old daughter has recently entered. They decided to make their views known by setting up the online petition 'Thought Through Not Rushed Through', which has already attracted a lot of public interest.

Jess, Mark and Isabella Mauger

Pictured: Jess and Mark Mauger with their daughter Isabella.

"We are both locally born and educated, as were our siblings, friends and parents," Mrs Mauger said. "We all experienced a fantastic local education, which continues presently with our skilled and dedicated teachers.

"As new parents, we watched as the reforms of our education system started to be talked about and take shape, and now that our daughter has started school it is even more important for us that she gets the same education and opportunities that we had on this fantastic island.

"We are devastated with what we see as the bulldozing though of a model which is ill thought out and will destroy the education system as we know and love it. Our education system was the envy of many and now I hear parents tell me that they are thinking of leaving the island if this goes through!

"As parents, we are at the school gates every morning. We hear what the majority want and know it is not what is on the table, so we really felt we had to do something about it. There are some who say it is a vocal minority that are voicing concerns, so we thought the only way to demonstrate the numbers would be to create a petition."


Pictured: Meetings on the plans have been held for douzaines and members of the public.

Mr Mauger added: "We wish to thank all the teachers for all the hard work they do and for speaking out against the current proposals. They are the professionals and should be listened to and treated with respect. They are the reason we have so many educated to such a high standard on this island and to continue to do their jobs to the highest standards with all the uncertainty is hugely admirable."

The pair are asking that States Members support a requête, suggested by Deputies Carl Meerveld, Andrea Dudley Owen and Rob Prow, calling for the current education plans to be delayed.

However, although he expected such a petition, Deputy Matt Fallaize is concerned people are asking that the plans be ousted with no agreed alternative in mind.

"We respect that people are perfectly entitled to express their views," he said. "In this case, signatories to the petition are expressing their opposition to the States' policy of two 11-18 colleges without knowing how Deputies Meerveld, Dudley Owen and Prow intend to structure our education system if they are successful in their attempts to kick out the current plans, which are now well underway.


Pictured: Deputy Matt Fallaize is leading the plans.

 "Of course, many of those now united in opposition to the current reforms don't agree among themselves about what should be done instead. Not having two 11-18 colleges is not an education model.

"After five years of discussion and more than half a dozen debates and millions of pounds, it is not good enough for deputies to keep saying only how they don't want secondary and post-16 education to be organised - they need to propose their solution. You have to ask whether they are not doing so only because they know that those opposed to the current reforms are so divided about what should be done instead and so as soon as they propose one single model of their own they will lose a lot of support.

"Education is such a divisive issue and there are so many different ways of organising secondary and further education that there is never going to be a model supported by everyone."

The requête has not yet been officially lodged, but a draft version has been published HERE. 

Nearly 3,000 people had signed the petition by 22:00 last night. 

In Jersey, if petitions reach 1,000 signatures, supporters will be given a response from Ministers and, if they reach 5,000 signatures or more, they will be considered for debate in the States Assembly. However, there are no such rules in Guernsey and petitions are often not acknowledged by deputies.

Pictured top: The petition has received a lot of public interest on social media.

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Posted by Connie Helyar-Wilkinson on
I’m fed up with hearing MattFallaize preach about the debate that’s been going on for years!
The last Assembly voted to get rid of the 11+ which most people would agree needed change. However he stood on a manifesto for this Assembly on a three school model, Richard Graham on a manifesto to save the Grammar School as did Mark Dorey. The people voted them in on those manifestos and have not had a say since they have introduced a 365 degree turnaround. It’s not good enough and we won’t stop protesting until it’s changed. ESC need to start listening for a change otherwise they won’t have a hope in hell of a chance to retain their seats.
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