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ESC face further scrutiny over model

ESC face further scrutiny over model

Wednesday 21 December 2022

ESC face further scrutiny over model

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Guernsey's backbench scrutineer wants more details clarified about the likely impact on the island’s secondary and post-16 education models following the latest period of change and confusion.

Deputy Gavin St Pier has submitted several Rule 14 questions to the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture. Its President, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, has 15 days to reply to the written questions.

The questions have been raised after a tumultuous few weeks for ESC in which its contract with RG Falla to construct a new education campus was torn up causing knock-on delays and cost increases to its flagship project to reorganise secondary and further education.

With the recent confused confirmation that Sixth Form teachers will need to work between any post-16 site and the three secondary schools even after a teething period, Deputy St Pier wants to know how many teachers could be teaching across two separate sites, and what teaching roles may be lost and created under the plans.

He has also asked “to what extent the Sixth Form Centre will be separate from the secondary schools”, given the model is based on a wholly independent Sixth Form Centre. 

Assurances are wanted to ensure the curriculum and delivery of specialist subjects will not suffer if and when sixth formers temporarily transfer to La Mare de Carteret High School - and what the vacated facilities at Les Varendes will be used for in the interim. 

Gavin St Pier

Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier is historically a supporter of the two school, 11-18 model.

Several politicians have taken the opportunity to suggest that ESC’s plans are no longer viable, including a sitting member of the Committee.

“With around 400 currently in the Sixth Form Centre can the Committee provide any example of comprehensive intake, non-fee paying sixth form institutions not attached to a secondary school with fewer than 700 students, in order to provide assurance that such a model is viable?”, asked Deputy St Pier.

He noted that the average number of UK students studying at standalone sixth form institutions stood at around 2,000 in 2021.

Deputy Dudley-Owen recently confirmed in correspondence to States’ members that the budgeted cost per pupil in secondary education, including sixth formers, was £9,124 in 2021. 

Deputy St Pier therefore wants an approximate cost solely for sixth formers studying out of the proposed Les Ozouets site, noting that equivalent costs in the UK were just under £5,000 in 2021. 

sixth form centre la mare de carteret

Pictured: Students and teachers in Key Stage 5 face years of disruption if operations are moved to La Mare de Carteret. 

The education model agreed by the States in 2021 was meant to ensure teachers could teach students between Key Stage 3 and 5 - Deputy St Pier is seeking clarity over whether this remains an assumption within ESC, and if recruitment campaigns for teachers will specify this “going forward”. 

He will again attempt to discern the extent of additional delays and costs brought about by the termination of the build contract with RG Falla, which Deputy Dudley-Owen suggested was too early to tell two weeks ago. 

He added: “By what date must a new contract be signed with a new contractor in order to guarantee occupation [of Les Ozouets] by September 2026, two years behind that agreed by the States?”

The current number of students in education, and the projected numbers for the coming decade broken down by primary, secondary and post-16 sites are being sought, as well as a “a detailed breakdown and explanation” of £600,000 in revenue savings identified within the secondary system

Questions have also been submitted over whether an adequate bus service to La Mare can be provided, and whether consultation occurred with those responsible to this end.


La Mare de Carteret 6th Form Centre

Costs of Les Ozouets delay not yet known

States drop education campus contractor

Education capital projects "continuing as planned

New post-16 campus secures planning consent

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