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OPINION: Open letter to ESC from Deputy Peter Roffey

OPINION: Open letter to ESC from Deputy Peter Roffey

Friday 09 December 2022

OPINION: Open letter to ESC from Deputy Peter Roffey

Friday 09 December 2022


Deputy Peter Roffey has put 'pen to paper' detailing his concerns, and asking questions, about the decision by ESC to drop RG Falla as its contractor for the Post-16 Campus development.

Dear Education, Sport and Culture,

I was shocked and disappointed to learn of the termination of the contract with RGF to build the proposed new post-16 campus. I believe all stakeholders, students, parents, teachers, deputies, and the wider community will share my dismay at the uncertainty which now clouds the proposed way forward. This clearly needs to be addressed as rapidly as possible. 

As you know the agreed model of secondary & tertiary education is one I profoundly disagree with. I believe it will prove to be extremely expensive, and thereby lead to compromises in educational provision. These include larger class sizes, restricted curriculum choices and fewer subject specialists. 

RG_FAlla_CAMPUS.png

Pictured: It was announced on Wednesday that ESC had dropped RG Falla as its contractor for the Post-16 Campus development. 

The one consolation I took away from what was, for me, a devastatingly bad decision by the States last year, was that it would at last provide certainty for all stakeholders, after years of debate. Now it seems as if even that consolation risks being no more than a mirage. 

I hope I am completely wrong over that assertion but I would like clarity on a few points please.

1. Will ESC stick by the firm promise they gave me in the States that if the project risks exceeding the agreed price envelope they will bring it back to the assembly for debate? 

2. If the cost of the project cannot be contained within that price envelope, will ESC consider a more modest plan to press on with the very long overdue new Guernsey Institute campus at Les Ozouets, in order to provide vocational students with the provision they desperately need and deserve? 

3. If the new Post-16 campus cannot be completed by September 2025 will ESC reconsider the transition plans? 

4. Do they accept that to close La Mare and relocate that 11-16 cohort to Les Varendes, before relocating the 6th form facility, would lead to circa 1,100 pupils on the site? 

5. If so is this not a very similar size of school as that envisaged under the previously agreed two school model, but without the benefits of the proposed additional accomodation and facilities? 

6. If this number is incorrect can they explain exactly where all of the pupils will be located across the three remaining secondary school sites? 

7. Please can ESC indicate exactly when it expects to be able to reassure the whole community over the route map forward, together with timings and costings, for this crucial project? 

Many thanks for your attention to these questions and timely answers would be much appreciated. Ideally ahead of next week’s states meeting. 

Warm Regards 

Deputy Peter Roffey.

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