Any teacher looking to move to Guernsey could be put off just by google searching the island’s education fiasco, according to a representative from the islands’ largest teachers union.
The States decided not to fund the agreed Les Ozouets campus last week after backing the model for a second time, instead deciding to finance a smaller list of projects, but also the second phase of modernising the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
Wayne Bates, a national negotiating official for the union, told the latest Express podcast that it “beggars belief” that funding was withdrawn just hours after States members reaffirmed the model itself – co-locating the new Guernsey Institute with a standalone sixth form centre to create a single post-16 campus for the island.
“It's been ten years now,” he said. “The fact we are still talking about it is quite bizarre.
“Particularly with the post-16, we’ve obviously got the issues with the Guernsey Institute, but also the sixth form. It's really an unenviable choice between the La Mare de Carteret site, which is at the end of its life already, or the Les Varendes site which will be full as an 11-16 but with a sixth form there as well will be quite significantly overcrowded.
“Then you compound in all the other uncertainty about where we’re actually going with education in Guernsey, it's little wonder that perspective applicants for a job may be put off from applying. Certainly, if you were to google ‘education in Guernsey’ it’s a tale of woe that comes up, and that will certainly be having an impact on recruitment.
“It's going to be, no doubt in my mind, that teachers and lecturers have had enough of this process which never seems to end and will just be looking to leave the island to get some assurance and certainty, and also to move to where the funding and the resources are far better.”
He said the States need to come up with the funding for the £100m+ project soon: “We can’t have a situation where the sixth form is either in a site that’s already at the end of its life for an indeterminate period or it's shoehorned into another site that is unacceptably crowded. Neither of those work in the short term let alone the long term."
Pictured: You can listen to FOCUS here, which features Mr Bates.
The union labelled the fiasco “government negligence”.
In statement this week, Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of NASUWT said another cohort of children, young adult and staff were being failed again.
“By refusing to give education the investment it so desperately requires, this decision sends the simple message that the States of Deliberation does not value children’s education, which is an utter disgrace.
“The States urgently needs to bring forward new plans on how it intends to fund these reforms and ensure that Guernsey’s education system is fit for the 21st century."
There could be attempts to provide funding for Les Ozouets when the States debate the Government Work Plan next month.
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.