Teaching ‘more attractive here’ with end of 11-plus

TEACHING in Guernsey has been made more attractive by the decision to scrap selection, the new president of the National Union of Teachers has said.


Louise Regan visited the island yesterday to speak with some of the 300 local NUT members.

She aimed to visit their members all around Great Britain, and was invited to the island by the acting secretary of the Guernsey division of NUT, Connie Armstrong – a teacher at Castel Primary School.

‘I am very interested to find out about the education system here,’ Mrs Regan said.

‘Selection is an interesting issue, and of big concern in the UK – we don’t think it helps social mobility.

‘Guernsey’s government being so different [from the UK], and in turn its education system progressing on its own, shows that different things can work.’

At the start of February this year, a survey completed by another teachers’ union – NASUWT – found that 64% of teachers had considered leaving their job in the previous year.

At the time, the regional secretary for the south-west of the UK’s NUT members, Andy Woolley, said Guernsey was no longer an attractive option for teachers from the UK.

Mrs Regan said, however, that she thought Guernsey was a more attractive option.

Comments for: "Teaching ‘more attractive here’ with end of 11-plus"


"we don’t think it helps social mobility." How does it fair with economic prosperity? Or academic achievement? Thought so...

How about Education stop buying quotes in and start telling us what's happening with the schools and when???

John West

Well, given the last board procrastinated until nearly the 12th hour, this current board, upon clarifying the rushed vote at the end of the last term, are moving forward.

We are also talking about big changes and they have said it would be in June/July that they will bring options/proposals to the house. I don't see why everyone is getting their pants in a bundle, it's no different to any other board going about their business and bringing proposals before the house!

Please can everyone give the board the time they need, particularly without constant sniping from bitter members of the house (past and present) that keep sticking their oar in where it's not needed. They have had MONC of the board and investigation of president which has since come to nought... not to mention a certain columnist, come faux-politician that has continually stirred things up. At least let's all wait until propositions are tabled, then analyse them to death.

It's one thing ensuring all this is done correctly as, of course, we are talking about thousands of children's education here, but there should be no place for political point-scoring, something this lady appeared to have been (unwittingly) used as.


How did education buy any quotes for this story?

National union representative visits islands, does some media interviews.

Are you suggesting the national union of teachers are in the pay of the education committee?


I suppose that it makes sense that a non-selective approach would be more attractive to teachers, because it will eliminate the ability to differentiate between higher performing schools and lower performing schools. It will enable poorer performing teachers to remain in post for longer, which means that, from an NUT perspective their members are better looked after.


Given that the 11 plus aims to test people on innate intelligence, and not on basic maths etc it never was possible to use the results to compare different schools. If you want to see the sort of questions it poses google "psychometric testing", none of the questions are anything like the stuff you learn at school.

Election Issues

The 11+ tests before the last Education Board interfered, and changed it, did include maths and English.


MLP - I despair

How many times does it have to be explained.

Higher performing schools are not those that have the best results.

Higher performing schools are the ones which add the most value and where children make the most progress.

Perhaps this is why professionals have a more informed view than parents on such matters. Devos in the states was ridiculed for her ignorance as Secretary of State for education.



Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the anti-Grammar brigade completely pooh-pooh the value-added concept once it became known that the local Grammar School was one of the top-performing schools in Britain using that benchmark?


Ah so as i have always suspected, the arguement that teachers know best so ignore the public consultation, is shown for what it is. Unsurprisingly teachers had bias given their jobs would be much easier with less assessment for them! Next headline Turkeys vote for the abolition of Christmas, shock horror!

Island Wide Voting

Four negative comments!

Obviously the wrong sort of people are posting


Negative? What happens at the end of their school career? They have an exam to determine where they can go. It's pretty logical therefore that halfway through their education they have an exam to see how they are faring - at 11. Grammar Schools cater for the more able literally, numerically and logically while Secondary Schools were supposed to have been more career based with an emphasis on the linguistic and numerical, ie the basics. There is nothing wrong with the philosophy except that there wasn't enough money to implement the Secondary School in that format, so they just followed the same curriculum as the Grammar Schools and they compromised by adding GCSE Exams where those with an A were deemed capable to continue in a Grammar school 6th Form. Then the wet Libs arrived with the Comprehensive idea to avoid friends being parted at 11 and parents being disappointed that their offspring had 'failed' if they didn't get to a Grammar School. You reap what you sow.......

Le Goubert

Willow, you have failed to explain why some parents pay tutors £40-50 per hour to turn their little oiks into somersaulting parrots to pass a test.

If their children were so naturally 'bright' why did they bother pay for coaching? Surely cream always rises to the top?


Well, now only the offspring of the well off, such as our States members, will 'rise to the top'. How very egalitarian!

Election Issues

"some parents pay tutors"

Some parents do not pay tutors and their children pass the 11+ tests.

In the future, some parents may feel it necessary to pay tutors to help their children with key subjects at GCSE and A level.

In the future, some parents may feel it necessary to pay for their children's education at one of the colleges.

In the future, it will be the parents who are 'well off' who will be able to have such choices.

Le Goubert

Completely agree Election Issues.

The Island's hard working parents, say Dad at SWD keeping our Island running and Mum working as a cleaner at the PEH, both earning about earning £15 per hour, can never afford private tutors at £40-50 per hour at GCSE or any other level.


No wonder they will be happier- no data to compare students, all schools included in one set of external examination data. This will hide poor performing schools and the high performing schools will drag up the average scores, masking problem schools. No questions to answer, happy days indeed!


Willow - At long last two separate elected States have accepted the truth that at 11 there is no accurate way of determining the real academic abilities of our children and have had the foresight not to waste the talents of ALL our young people. Fortunately that is a historic debate that we no longer need to discuss.

On the actual topic of this post I would suggest that teaching in Grammar is far easier and less challenging than teaching those who have the potential to achieve but need inspirational and creative teaching to raise the achievements and aspirations of the mid -range children. Similarly teaching difficult and challenging children at Les Voies, the autism centres or special schools takes far more skill, knowledge and ability than teaching a compliant group of Grammar children. Look at the fantastic work LMDC High is achieving and the recent independent inspections.

Many of our secondary teachers are from the UK and are products themselves of comprehensive education before going to University and then getting teaching qualifications. They feel comfortable with a system that they have succeeded in.

Teachers are generally not in it for the money and the majority I have met want to help children achieve but need to know that there is a fair and equal playing field for each and everyone. That is not a woolly belief it is heartfelt by many teachers as they simply want all children to have the same chances. Unfortunately Guernsey is still a bastion of snobbery and class division where the 'haves' want to keep the 'have nots' in their place. Social mobility is almost unheard of here.

Guernsey's comprehensive system is likely to attract the interest of the really good teachers who will inspire the gifted, the middle range and those who need special help. I believe it can be done without selection at 11 as most teachers, the experts in this field, also do. We would be silly not to listen to the majority of teachers.

Island Wide Voting

Pity you spoiled a good post with ...."Unfortunately Guernsey is still a bastion of snobbery and class division where the 'haves' want to keep the 'have nots' in their place. Social mobility is almost unheard of here.

I agree the debate(s) is /are over and we should look to make the best of what is to come.We'll have an idea of what that is in a few weeks time so please let's not restart the save the Grammar School Centre of Excellence argument all over again