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Relief over Les Ozouets funding – but union wants more

Relief over Les Ozouets funding – but union wants more

Friday 26 January 2024

Relief over Les Ozouets funding – but union wants more

Friday 26 January 2024

The Guernsey Institute boss is “absolutely thrilled” that the States have funded the project, but a teachers’ union has called for funding to be found for the sixth form element “as a matter of urgency”.

The States have now approved an £88m spend for the first phase of the island’s new post-16 campus, including laying foundations for a future sixth form centre. But that building, and sports facilities, have been omitted from an initial phase of building to cut down on upfront costs.

In the meantime, sixth form students will move into La Mare De Carteret High School from Les Varendes until a dedicated facility is built, which could take several additional years. 

Jacki Hughes, Executive Principal of The Guernsey Institute, hailed the end of the long-running saga to deliver the organisation’s facilities which she said would markedly improve the lives of staff and students. 

“It was a clear decision with a large majority to back investment in skills for the future of our island, something I believe is very important for Guernsey,” she said. 

“While it has understandably been a difficult road to get here, with financial pressures on the States being very tight, investing in our young people’s education through The Guernsey Institute is, in my view, a strong investment in the future.” 

But Wayne Bates, a NASUWT national negotiating official, while saying the Guernsey Institute “cannot come soon enough”, added that the union is “dismayed that remaining funding for the completion of the entire transformation project has yet not been found".

“As a matter of urgency, the States must make full funding available to ensure that all teachers and students are learning in well-maintained buildings fit for a 21st century education.”

6th form centre la mare

Pictured: La Mare De Carteret High School will be used as a temporary sixth form centre.

Sixth form studies are planned to move into La Mare from September 2025, when the final cohorts of secondary school students move to the Les Varendes site. This was supposed to be for one year while construction completed at Les Ozouets.

But now, without funding agreed by the States for a new facility, the stay will be much longer, and the decision to see through the new sixth form centre could depend on decisions of the next Assembly. 

P&R have said the next official consideration of funding for such a project is likely to be in 2026, a year after the general election.  

There are fears among deputies that the sixth form centre may not be operational until 2029 or be constructed at all.  

While a new contractor for the Les Ozouets build has yet to be announced, Education, Sport & Culture said it hopes to start work on the site “in the summer”.  

The Committee estimates that £141,000 will need to be spent on La Mare to get it up to scratch, although it’s understood this is the costing for a one- to two-year stay. 

While external planning consultants have said La Mare is unsuitable for a medium or long-term stay, Education said it has “received assurance from Peter Marsh Consulting, informed by the new phasing plan, that confirms that our planned use of LMDC as an interim home for the Sixth Form is both appropriate, and the preferable option”. 

ESC says it is updating “all elements” of its plan in line with the States’ decision, including planning considerations for phasing the build. 

Pictured (top): Jacki Hughes. 

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