Tuesday 06 June 2023
Select a region

Education President calls time on “the negative narrative”

Education President calls time on “the negative narrative”

Tuesday 07 February 2023

Education President calls time on “the negative narrative”

Tuesday 07 February 2023

Discussions around where lessons are delivered risk overshadowing other aspects of educational improvement across the Bailiwick with the ESC President saying “an increasingly depressed and catastrophised narrative” is being spun.

In a wide-ranging update on the reorganisation of secondary and post-16 education published yesterday, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen called for “the tone of the conversation around education in Guernsey and Alderney” to change.

We owe it not only to our students but to our many staff to be far more celebratory of the many successes,” she said.

We must create a positive and constructive conversation, acknowledging where we need to do better, but doing so with support, warmth, and due concern. 

Too much of the discussion around the States’ plans for Secondary and post-16 education centres on buildings and negative rumination. It’s become an increasingly depressed and catastrophised narrative, which ignores the huge amount of very positive progress being made on the far wider elements of the implementation plans – things that arguably matter far more when trying to deliver change and improvements to the delivery of education. 

She said changes to the model to date will provide a platform for improving and stabilising education for students, their families, and staff. 


Pictured: The plans for the reorganisation of secondary and post-16 education made several deviations over the course of 2022.

The States agreed a new Education model in September 2021 with three 11-16 high schools and a new one-stop campus for post-16 education be built on the Les Ozouets site.

The Committee has also been working to reform the decades old education law and deliver and monitor change through the prism of a new education strategy.

It was hoped to have the reorganisation completed for the fresh student intake in September 2024, but this was delayed by a year in early 2022.

By the final month of the year, the contract with RG Falla to construct new buildings for The Guernsey Institute and Sixth Form Centre at Les Ozouets was terminated by the States which the Committee says will likely result in further delays to its reorganisation plans. 

Recently, the first annual report into the new education strategy noted that positive impacts have been realised but further improvements are required, with the Committee grading itself 5/10 in most assessed areas. 

Deputy Dudley-Owen has also suggested that upcoming Ofsted inspections into primary and secondary schools are likely to result in less than good assessments in the ‘quality of education’ bracket, with improved mathematics and wider curriculum development needed in schools before the inspectorate assess them more favourably.

But these issues should not detract from “significant progress” made to date on the education reorganisation, she said. 

Whether it the development of the new staffing structures, which will deliver improved resilience across the board, reduce teacher workloads and add capacity in important areas like pastoral care, or the absolutely essential digital transformation which will enable tangible improvements to education delivery.

These are often overlooked in lieu of talk about sites and buildings, which I acknowledge are important, but which are not the only enablers required to improve education in Guernsey and Alderney. 

My message to States colleagues and to the wider community is to recognise how lucky we are in Guernsey that we have a functioning and delivering system, undoubtedly improvements are needed and those are well underway – but stop with the negative narrative and start working with us to build Guernsey’s education system up, not against us by constantly talking it down.

Express has published today a story detailing the Committee’s update on the Secondary School Partnership, staffing structure, digital infrastructure, post-16 education and the Les Ozouets campus which can be read HERE.


Education admits "we have some way to go"

Costs of Les Ozouets delay not yet known

States drop education campus contractor

Clarification wanted on education savings and timescale

New school model delayed by a year

States commits to new education model

Sign up to newsletter



Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

There are no comments for this article.

To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?