Let's take on the world, not just UK in exams – minister

GUERNSEY should look beyond the UK when comparing GCSE results, the Education minister has said.

GUERNSEY should look beyond the UK when comparing GCSE results, the Education minister has said.

School performance tables for the UK’s 2012 GCSE results were released last week.

It showed that Guernsey’s average pass rate across all secondary schools for the UK standard of five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and maths, was higher, with 65.7% of students hitting the target compared to 59.9%.

The Coalition benchmark for ‘successful’ schools is a 40% pass rate at this standard.

Education minister Robert Sillars, pictured, was pleased at the upswing.

‘But I don’t want to be comparing with the UK,' he said. 'We want to be a world-class jurisdiction for education.’

Comments for: "Let's take on the world, not just UK in exams – minister"


Would love to hear his ideas on how we actually do it.

I've been thinking ICT probably could be updated a bit - more focus on programming/development to meet recruitment needs? Young people these days are picking up technology at a much quicker pace and using it more naturally.

I just remember using Word, Excel & powerpoint! Good things to cover but I remember people in my class (not too long ago ;-) ) that were much more capable. They were making websites, could write coding etc and they probably could have done with a more advanced class.


A good starting point would be to address the bullying of the more able students by the idiots that have no interest in learning.



Though I acknowledge the value of advanced ICT in an enabling students to avail themselves in an ever-changing technological environement, I think it is otiose having a pupil who has no interest in producing websites for a living complete such a course. I personally believe that it is much more favourable to the interests of a student- one who has no interest in advanced ICT- to do a course on a conventional subject such as history or geography and excel themselves, rather than to struggle with a course they lack an aptitude for, but have been merely compelled to do and receive a mediocre result accordingly.

I think it is right that the school offers an advanced ICT qualification, but, if the course doesn't appeal to the student, they should then be provided with the opportunity of taking up another foreign language, advanced science or advanced maths, for example, instead. I had to do a GCSE course called English Digital Communications and, although at the start I found it interesting, it became an encumbrance towards the end of the year as squandering time by producing a website prevented me from investing time into studies that

would actually profit me.


When I mentioned the word 'otiose' I suddenly remembered that I had something to apprise Island Wide Voting a.k.a Ray of : Island Wide Voting, otiose is now becoming old hat; otiosity (idleness) is the new buzzword, though that's ironic considering the word came into being many moons ago.

pb falla

I think you need to spend a 2 hour therapy session with Jordan

And i dont mean Joe


Good call pb

And Ed if you don't know what he's on about look up the various dictionary definitions for 'laid'


What's this ? PB Falla knows a language other than the 'Guernsey Shambles one' ? I think it is more demanding on my brain to comprehend this than the content of a history lesson !

Island Wide Voting


I think PB may call on his mum's typing skills when he wants to stray beyond the usual tedious sentence


Very good Mr Sillars, the problem with that is that it may show our educational standards to be lacking; A quick 'Google' on the subject found numerous articles on how uk educational standards compare to other counries, the following extract from www.teachingexpertise.com seems to show the uk lagging behind european standards so where will that put ours?

"The recent PIRLS survey looked at reading for literary purposes and for informational purposes. The headline results showed that pupils in England in 2006 achieved above the international mean but below a number of European countries including Italy, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg and Belgium. England was also below several relatively poor eastern European countries including Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Latvia and was overall fifteenth out of 40 countries. Disappointingly, this showed a decline from third place in the 2001 survey. Also the PIRLS survey showed that pupils in England had a more negative attitude to reading than children in many other countries and did not read for pleasure. This may come as a surprise to some after the considerable amounts of resources put into the National Literacy Strategy over recent years".


Without checking any of the figures, or statistics, I think it is a safe bet that the highest standards are in the countries that still believe in discipline for children until they are old enough to discipline themselves.

As for bullying - that has extended to teachers also being bullied by recalcitrant pupils.

In my time, ratbags didn't prance around the classroom making it difficult for the teacher and those pupils who wanted to learn. Why?

Because the ultimate deterrent was stood in the corner behind the teacher and it was just quivering with anticipation. And the biggest bully in the school was the headmaster, ever anxious to scythe down the playground bullies with his cane. Of course child psychologists and do-gooders had yet to be invented!


Yep I remember blood dripping down my leg from a caning from a nun! No lasting damage however I became very obedient as did the rest of the class.

What a field day the lefties would have had with that. My dear old mums response was not who do I sue, but you must have deserved it makes you all misty eyed for the good old days!

Vale reader

Spot on post 6. This would not only raise results, it would raise young men and women to be proud of.

Huge numbers are leaving school with terrible attitudes.

I think many believe that they go to school for the sake of the adults, they are not thrilled or even grateful for being taught basic life skills such as reading, writing and basic tables etc.

I don't know if you teach, but you are on the button when you describe one or two idiots demanding the attention of the whole class.

Can you and Disgruntled stand for deputy posts?


Vale Reader

I know when I am a teacher more students will leave with positive attitudes. I am beginning to think that some teachers are becoming incompetent and unenthusiastic, which causes the pupils to find lessons vapid. I will be dynamic, wholehearted and I will zealously devote myself to this cause that I embrace- engaging education and fulfilment for all kinds of students.

There are several aspects of the current education system that require serious revision- it's not just the examination intervals, but the content of the curriculum and thus examinations. For example, photosynthesis is still a part of A Level curriculum as are certain aspects of GCSE courses. Photosynthesis is a rudiment- it's fundamental knowledge that ought to be assimilated by the students brain, and thus tested in examinations, when they are 7 years old.

On the other hand, history has managed to remain a demanding subject (it is still interesting, though) and is therefore a true examination of one's intellectual capacity as is the same with English and mathematics.

Island Wide Voting

I hated history at school.It just seemed to be one thing after another


@ Ed..."On the other hand, history has managed to remain a demanding subject"..Well of course it will...there's more of it to learn every year eh...heck there's 30 odd years more of it to learn now compared to when I was at school..!!



For a 7 year old would PHOTOSYNTHESIS be too advanced for their young learning brain?.

Primary Schools do not experiment such science without a science lab for botany.

At that age they would be otiose to photosynthesis.[LIGHT+ENERGY]


Perhaps then the age ought to be raised to 10. Even so, since they don't have scientific laboratories at primary schools, it doesn't mean that the students are excluded from the opportunity of studying what ought to happen in actuality as they can still read books; it may just take longer for their brain's to assimilate such knowledge.

Anyway, there were some scientific concepts and species' nomenclatures that I was aware of at age 7.


They already do teach the concepts behind photosynthesis in primary school, they just don't teach the word. I disagree that primary aged kids would take longer to learn about any subject than older kids when taught in a factual manner. Most scientific concepts are easily taught without a lab - there is no better lab than the school playground.



my mummy is proud of me through your educated knowledge.I followed your advice and now even my teacher says i am over educated.

grumpy teacher

How exactly do you intend to make Guernsey into a world class jurisdiction, Mr Sillars?

Island Wide Voting

I think he intends to throw millions of pounds at it


Good plan. It would be a better investment than say throwing millions into an abattoir built with public money for private profit.

Island Wide Voting


On that basis I suppose we should not be financing the new cranes ...perhaps even the airport?


Perhaps there is an argument there. However maybe those items are essential to our infrastructure for the sake of communications and trade rather than primarily for the benefit of private business.

I don't agree with expenditure over and above the bare minimum though. If private businesses want any extras such as hangars and runway room for jets then they should pay the premium, I'm not convinced it's in the interest of the general public to have top spec for this.

I do not regard a building designed solely for the benefit of the butchery trade as essential to our infrastructure at all, nor is the dairy business for that matter.


Great to be aiming high Mr Sillars, well said. Not sure how cutting the education budget will be helping though. We should be increasing our education budget not tightening it. Education is something that the Island will benefit from in 20 years time - spend a bit more now and get a highly trained, competent workforce with lower levels of crime and social unrest. It's a no brainer, it just means we need to make the cuts elsewhere, like the police / states.

Cutting the budget by £7m just seems like a very short sighted strategy. If, after cutting out all the waste in the education department, there is not enough money then lets raise some more tax revenue.