A quarter of Grammar places get turned down

A QUARTER of those offered places at The Grammar School after this year’s 11-plus have turned the opportunity down.

grammar web

And the year group will not be full as Education says its policy means it does not offer any more places beyond a borderline group who will now fill only some of the slots.

The school’s intake each year is dictated as a percentage of the overall cohort, which this year is 551 children.

In total, 20 initial offers were not taken up, so the committee then offered places to another 11 children who have accepted.

In 2015 only 11 turned down the opportunity, a figure which rose to 15 in 2016.

Some parents have blamed uncertainty over the school’s future in the wake of the States’ decision to move to a fully comprehensive education system, with people choosing to pay for their children to go to one of the colleges instead.

Comments for: "A quarter of Grammar places get turned down"

John West

All in the name of fairness for all, folks!

Apart from those who can afford a private education of course.

Le Goubert

Great to see the Education system finally on the way up.

Elizabeth College can now be a centre of excellence, without all the fee payers who failed the 11+ holding back the more academically able.


so was it the children or the parents turning the offer down.

Island Wide Voting

As George Dubbya said in 2003 ... Mission Accomplished

Bloke A

The GP story says that parents of 10.1% of pupils from the States' system are opting to send them to one of the colleges, compared to 9.7% last year. That is an increase, but doesn't sound like a massive change. Unfortunately it doesn't say what last year's cohort was so you can't compare actual numbers. It also doesn't say what the percentage opting for the colleges would have been prior to 2016, which would be useful.

Rupert Walthumstow

How far can that percentage realistically increase though?

The Colleges I imagine will have a cut off as to how many pupils they will take in each year, so if Beechwood/Melrose are bigger/smaller there are less/more places for States students to pay.


Which is probably a clue as to what proportion are anti grammar - 25%! So why the hell are they bent on destroying opportunities for the majority?


So if parents know that they will pay for their kids to go to the colleges if they don't get there via the 11+, why don't they put the college first and the high school second when they're asked to make that choice? Then the Education Dept wouldn't be wasting its time shuffling students around and students that otherwise wouldn't have got to the Grammar school might get a chance to go. Selfish is what it is.


You only get to tick one box Misty there is no second choice. Those parents hoping their child would get a college scholarship presumably ticked that box but for some the score was not high enough for one of the college places but was high enough for a grammar school place but they decided to pay the fees anyway. According to this article the borderline group though is not expanded to take more than a dozen children even though the grammar school has the capacity to take more.

Bloke A

Every parent is entitled to put their child(ren) through the eleven plus. In that sense it is a level playing field. The irony is the children whose parents are now opting to pay for a college place might actually have achieved a place had others not been tutored. And that is where the system that is supposed to recognise ability falls over every time.


I think it's highly likely that someone who enters their child in the 11+ with the aim of getting a scholarship, but will pay if that doesn't happen, will be paying for tutoring prior to the 11+. So it's not really an ironic situation at all.

Le Goubert

Testing children at 10 yrs old.......you know it makes sense!


Not surprising really.

1 Education's past experience of transitioning schools was woeful.

2 The much publicised joyous learning experience based on the rather dire Scottish changes looks rather like - public equals non challenging, private equals academic.

Could be wrong but those are the perceptions. We, of course will better the Scots as we will have that meaningless word - Excellence.


That 25% of kids would have likely been the most tutored kids sitting the 11+ this year. Their parents would have also put their deposits down at the Colleges before they sat the test. These parents were playing the system, and trying to get the tax payer to fund their child's private education.

This is why the system was broken people will say. The question is, will the tax payers money that funds these so called private schools be withdrawn, making it fairer [or will it be fairer]?

The States schools should be the centres of excellence, as this is the only fair way. Whilst the colleges should just be an alternative........


Have you got any evidence to support your assertion that these would be the most tutored kids? Or any reliable statistics about tutoring at all? Didn't think so.

Tax payers money is already being withdrawn from the colleges insofar as the grant per student has been phased out over the last few years and (I think) will be completely gone in a year or so.

As for states schools as a centre of excellence vs the colleges, how would that work exactly? Colleges can kick out anyone that doesn't conform to disciplinary standards, state schools can't. State schools have to put up with a percentage of disengaged and unsupportive parents - at £10,000 per kid per year you can be pretty confident that almost every college parent will take their children's educational journey seriously. Etc etc.

Guern through and through

Just because a parent pays that sort of amount on education does not mean that they take it seriously. That could be peanuts to some people and they send their child to college for status reasons. My eldest attends Les Beaucamps school and I can assure you that myself and a lot of the parents there do take their education very seriously. You are right in that there probably a lot of unsupportive parents as well but you will get that an all schools I am sure.


Thinking about the types of people who might fall into the category of "rich enough to afford private education without caring about the results" I would imagine there are very few of that kind of parent on the island. Even if they do exist, if status was what was important to them they would probably send their kids to one of the big name boarding schools in the UK instead of the colleges.

I agree that most parents are supportive, the trouble is that it only takes few troublemakers to absorb a huge amount of teacher and senior management time, exacerbated by the fact that the state schools cannot kick these pupils out.


Did I claim to have documented evidence or stats McTavish, do you, to prove otherwise? Didn't think so.

What I do have is recent experience, having had two kids in the last 4 years pass through the 11+ system. So to answer your question, from my experience what I said above seems a fair assertion......

What I would like to ask you, is what would you propose happens to those kids that don't "conform to disciplinary standards' or those children that might not be lucky enough to have supportive parents? These kids stand no chance in your world but should be given the chance to excel no matter what help or assistance is needed. And if they don't exceed, they should at least be equipped to have a decent chance at life.

As for the Status of Private Education, I do believe this exists, but I do not have a stat for you on this observation either. But I think the Private Ed is as important to some as the badge on their car.


So yet again the wealthy have the advantage - and that's a fairer system, is it?


Mike2712 - But you have to ask yourself if you were wealthy would you not do the same??

Guern through and through

If I were wealthy I don't think I would. It doesn't matter which school you go to, it is how you apply yourself when you are there. I have heard of pupils which have attended Les Beaucamps to then become the head girl/boy at The Grammar School in the sixth form. I think a lot of it is down to snobbery from the parents, not the child's choice. We are very lucky with the standard of education we receive over here and I wouldn't personally send my child to a private school.


As you say snobbery of the parents, dinner table banter with equily minded parents.

Island Wide Voting

Looking at the accompanying photo the Grammar School,although getting on in years now,looks in pretty good nick which begs the question now that the old EdBoard and its main CS protagonist have changed,do we really need to spend multi millions building a new comp on a swamp?

We are having to wait for the big reveal of which building will be sacrificed to implement the three school model ... surely not Les Beaucamps or St Sampsons High ... so it's likely to be between extending the life of the Grammar building (that's the one with a swimming pool and playing fields just over a mile and a half from LMDC as the crow flies) or sticking with the design award potential of an over spec brand new comp on a swamp

Hopefully the new EDBoard and it's new Senior CS can put aside the old Board's unshakeable urge to trump the design awards they received for the Beaucamps building and massively reduce the spend at LMDC by replacing only the infant/junior school building and relocating the seniors to the other three serviceable buildings which apparently have the capacity due to decreasing school rolls



Surely now there is no case for rebuilding the senior school at LMDC?

Island Wide Voting

There appears to be no case on the surface but I expect a case could be 'engineered'


This should be no surprise, and if they didn't see this coming then they should be shot for being so thick. Watch the Grammar teachers start to leave too.

No doubt all the anti-Selection, anti-Grammar head-teachers, teachers, deputies and parents we heard so much from will be absolutely JUST DELIGHTED at this headline.

Their mission won't be fully accomplished though until all funding for the Colleges is withdrawn too.

Lets hope they don't have a child who is talented - he or she might not get the best education they deserve at the "new" high school offering. But we won't know that for 5 or 10 years or more - and that's a lot of kids who may be failed by an education system that is supposed to be all singing, all dancing and treat them all as individuals *cough*.

And wait for the ESC committee to get assassinated about it all in due course, however, remember they just have the job of coming up with the spec - it was our glorious States of Guernsey who chose to get rid of the Grammar School.

See how clever I was there (oops I mean gifted and talented) - the Deputies had a "choice" - 90% of parents no longer do - based on an average cohort of 550 and only 50-ish college places available. That's 90% of kids in a system which if based on what the high schools are doing now, will without doubt fail many of them - just talk to parents who have one at HS and one at GS at the moment...


I think you have forgotten that the new teaching model will include excellence - therefore bound to be better. Do have a look at the success of the new Scottish model. No problem (no irony intended).


"Grammar is the only ‘meritocracy’, yet it achieves no more than certain mixed ability schools in England"

Way to talk a great school down.

Many, if not most of those "certain" mixed ability UK schools which can rival Grammar tend to be the ones in affluent areas; parents will deliberately move to a more expensive neighbourhood so as to fall within the catchment area for the best rated state schools - either because they don't agree with private education politically or because it works out cheaper to upgrade to a posh part of town than to pay for private school.

Either way, with a huge number of ambitious parents effectively paying for their child's education they are hardly a good example of your average UK state school, most of which are nowhere near as good as Grammar.

Le Goubert

On what grounds does Elizabeth College have charity status?

Sounds like a paradox.


The Foundation has charity status to allow donations to be made towards major projects that improve the quality and availability of facilities at Acorn House, Beechwood and Elizabeth College. More info here: http://elizabethcollege.gg/support-college/foundation/

Le Goubert

Ah a charity that enables a private school to receive a 'beneficial tax position' for the benefit of fee paying parents.

I suppose I'm naive in the belief charities are set up to benefit those in need, not to help fee paying schools evade tax.


You seem to have a similarly level of naivety when it come to the subject of tax!


If you don't like that the charity is raising money for then don't donate. Simple. The Foundation has enabled new buildings and facilities to be built for students, encouraging and enabling them to pursue sport, music and academic endeavours that were not previously available to them. These were done without cost to you through use of your tax money, so I don't understand why you're so against these children having these opportunities? The states schools have new buildings, sports pitches, cafeterias etc all available, why should Elizabeth College not have access to these if the funds are available through private donations?

You also need to do your research in to tax and charitable trusts...

Le Goubert

Great to see how fee paying schools have a cosy arrangement and can set themselves up as a charity and that no tax is paid on donations between £500 and £5k.

Taken from the gov.gg website;

"If an individual (i.e. not a company) makes a donation or donations to a particular Guernsey Registered Charity, of at least £500 and not exceeding £5,000 in a calendar year, the donation is deemed to have been made to the charity net of income tax. If the individual is able to complete a declaration in the form and manner required by the Director of Income Tax, the donation is grossed up and a repayment of the income tax is made to the charity. Further details and claim forms."

And in case anyone wants the definition of a charity, here it is from the Oxford Dictionary;

"An organization set up to provide help and raise money for those in need."

Silly me for not realising children at a fee paying school are in need!!

This is an out and out tax scam and everyone knows it, no matter how much legalese is spun.

And here is the subject reported in the Telegraph;


Sounds like another example of how Guernsey needs to move from the 19th into the 21st Century.


Le Goubert

You probably need to do a bit more investigation on the tax side of things, as the school wouldn't pay any income tax on a donation, whether a charity or not.

You probably need to drop this whole charity/tax angle, as it's not doing you any favours. If the schools weren't charities they still wouldn't pay any tax, as they don't make any profit (plus you probably need to consider zero-10 too).

Le Goubert

Jjlehto, I commend your semantics on the subject of tax.

So the person who makes the donation receives tax relief!

And pray, please tell me the objective of this little ruse?

Originally the objective was to encourage donors to give larger donations to help the 'poor and needy'.

But somehow Elizabeth College were awarded Charitable status so large donations could well....er......be even larger!

Can you explain why a fee paying school was granted Charity status to provide improved facilities for its students?

And finally can you please direct all islanders to where they can find the "Elizabeth College Charity" accounts so they can see for themselves how all their donations have benefited the fee paying students.


Le Goubert, you seem to have a real issue with people choosing to donate their money to a cause of their choice. Maybe you shouldn't concern yourself so much with what other people choose to do with their money. You'll probably find you'll lead a much happier life.

Quite why I had to do the Google search for you for the information you want, I don't know. But here are the details of the charity and its finances: http://beta.charitycommission.gov.uk/charity-details/?regid=1120954&subid=0

Charities don't just exist for "poor and needy", the exist to raise funds for causes. In this instance, the cause is education. Elizabeth College isn't taking any of your money, it is using funds from its own source, from people who wish to see the school improve and modernise. You don't have to agree with it, but to suggest those who donate or the college are sly and underhand just smacks of bitterness. Elizabeth College needs to expand with growing numbers, it needs to provide modern facilities to compete with schools on the island and other independent schools in the UK. Those who donate want to see this happen. No one is forced to give, no one is having their money siphoned off elsewhere. Try minding your own wallet instead of trying to find scandal where there is none.


Le Goubert

You seem to be jumping from one indignation to another...you can't accuse EC of being helped to evade tax (a criminal offence) on one post, and then completely go off on a tangent on another by talking about non-payment of tax on donations.

I would suggest taking a deep breath before posting again. It may even help reduce that chip on your shoulder!

Le Goubert

Misdemeanour and Jjlehto. Thank you for the replies.

We will have to agree to differ as to why EC has charitable status.

Le Goubert

Misdemeanour and Jjlehto. Thank you for the replies. Interesting reading.

We will have to agree to differ as to why not only EC has charitable status, but all fee paying schools.

Le Goubert

Misdemeanour and Jjlehto. Thank you for the replies. Interesting reading.

We will have to agree to differ as to why not only EC has charitable status, but nearly all fee paying schools.


Feel as though am in time warp here. Two separate democratically elected sittings of the States have agreed that a selective education is not in the best interests of the majority of children now or in the future. So firstly we all need to accept it.

Parents have every right to send their kids to a private school if they wish. What undoubtedly has to stop is the subsidy the low earner pays to a far wealthier parent so they get in effect have a 'discounted rate' for their child at colleges.

So many of the posters talk about the top 25% and that is exactly why we need to move on. Education is about 100% of the kids on a level playing field. People criticise comprehensive schools but the vast majority of UK Doctors, solicitors, scientists, engineers accountants vets and many other professions are themselves products of the comprehensive system that has served the UK well for over 40 years in most UK areas.

Obviously the transition from one system to another will be a challenge but the best teachers on this island will succeed. Those teachers in Grammar - some of whom will be excellent - will find it a particular challenge as it is far easier to teach a group of compliant kids. Good teachers are the ones who make the difference to a pupil with potential but need inspirational teaching to succeed.

Time to move on and be positive.



The problem the new Guernsey system will have is that no one really thought how it was going to be implemented. It was stupid to have a vote that only decided on whether to abolish the 11+, with no associated plans on how it was going to work. 3 schools? 4 schools? Rebuild La Mare? Demolish La Mare? It's just a mess, and all the time we are heading closer to the first year not taking the 11+ with no idea of what is going on.

It's difficult to be positive when it is such an obvious cock up.


Local1066 .. You are write about comprehensive education ... Just look at me!!


When it comes to the colleges being subsidised I'm afraid I don't agree. States subsidies largely pay for scholarships for bright students - without them there would be far fewer scholarship places and school fees would have to increase.

Currently it is perfectly possible for two working parents on an average salary to save over time, make a few sacrifices and pay for private schooling for their children. The majority of private school parents I have met on the island fall into this category. If school fees rise that will almost certainly not be the case; only the seriously wealthy would be able to afford private education, and with far fewer scholarship places this means the gap between rich and poor would only widen.

Now, if state schools were so good that nobody ever had any incentive to send their children to the colleges then that might be different. But that is a big 'if', and we are many years from finding out if that will be the case. As it is, I think the college subsidies should stay.

Rupert Walthumstow

Remember as well, the Colleges aren't like the States and happy to run at a loss. I assume they want to at least break even on fees every year. So if fees go up 50% and more than 1/3 of pupils can no longer afford it, they lose money. Of course, even if the parents can now just about afford the fees, there are uniforms, trips etc to pay for to make the most of the experience.

I'm sure there are a few calculations that have already been done to figure out where that equilibrium is.


Kittykat - You are happy that a cleaner in a hospital who pay his or her taxes should have some of their taxed money diverted to support another kids private education from a more affluent family when they themselves could never contemplate a private education for their own children even if they wanted it ?

Are you really comfortable with that especially as private fees on Guernsey are considerably cheaper than the UK private sector ?

As for State sponsorship of scholarships I suspect that those will be disappearing very soon as with no 11 plus there is no way to decide who should have one.

I have no problem whatsoever with parents paying for a private education but it has to come out of their pockets alone.

I think you will find if you took the average wage packet of an Elizabeth College parent it would far exceed that of a La Mare parent and yet they have to fund a child going to a private school. There has to be an element of morals and fairness - do you not agree ?


Local Guern etc ( whatever that means) I think you're forgetting the income tax contribution these "affluent" people make towards the state education system will be considerably higher than the cleaner in the local hospital will pay and which they don't avail of. Of course you can say that is their choice to do so but you could ask why thye don't get a tax rebate towards the private education of their children rather than subsidising the state system, wouldn't that be considered fair as we're all about fairness nowadays?

The problem is we've swapped one education system for nothing and are left hoping for the best with a new and untried system for Guernsey and that just isn't good enough for any child in Guernsey, to be a guinea pig for a new system.

I have heard it said many times that indiscipline, disruption, lack of respect for education and lack of aspiration are the main problems in the state schools and until that is tackled effectively standards will not rise. It only takes one person to disrupt a whole class and a whole lesson.

I agree with Kittycat that most of the parents I know who send their kids to private school are on modest incomes. I will be sad to see the scholarship places go as I know of a number of successful and net contributors to this island (in more ways than one) availed of it in the past and could not have afforded to attend it without. It is not for everyone but is of great benefit to those who are suited to it.

Refardless of the decision to abolish the grammar school the choice existed to go onto sixth form regardless of where you attended previously and I believe that wasn't always the case ( I would welcome clarification on that front) which is a big departure from the past. The High Schools have had a massive injection of cash in the form of new buildings, fantastic facilities and extra resources and would be the envy of many a location but it's not enough, it never seems to be.

I would like to see money invested in the teaching staff, buildings are not so important to me, I managed quite well in what would be considered far below standard buildings now partly because I wanted to learn, respected my teachers and fellow students and I knew it was solely up to me to improve my lot.

Island Wide Voting

Oh dear,LOCALGUERN1066, don't be so daft

From a 2016 EdBoard report at www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=102007&p=0

Cost of a Primary pupil per year £4,299

Cost of a Secondary pupil per year £6,376

So unless your hospital cleaner is on way above normal Civil Service pay rates he /she will hardly be paying enough tax to cover the cost of his/her own child's education.If he /she has two children of school age then their non-college education is being heavily subsidised by the higher income earner

It has always been so


Island Wide - That is exactly why those who have a higher income should pay a higher rate of tax than those who can't.

We can't all be highly paid and those who are have a responsibility to put a higher percentage of their income into the pot for the benefit of the whole of society and not just their own families.

Almost every developed nation agrees the more you earn the higher the tax band rate.


LOCALGUERN1066 - The colleges have always had entrance exams that have no affiliation to the 11+. There is no reason they can't select scholarship students on this basis.

And yes, I am happy with it. I think it is perfectly fair. Firstly because the states subsidy keeps school fees low and therefore affordable to those on an average wage - it seems far fairer to me that as many people as possible have the option of sending their child to private school, and as I said, under the current system it is possible for two working parents on an average salary to send their children to private school. If fees rise this will not be the case. Anyone can realistically aspire to an average salary. Very, very few can realistically become wealthy.

Having more scholarship places means that your hospital cleaner may indeed be able to send their children to private schools, and lower fees means that those children can grow up, earn an average salary and be able to afford to pay for private schooling for their own children if they choose it.

Removing subsidies means fewer scholarships and school fees so prohibitive only the wealthiest parents will be able to afford them.

Your argument seems to be that a persons tax money should only go towards things which that person can avail of themselves and personally benefit from. We all know there are people in society who have no intention of ever having children; does this mean they should be able to opt out of having their taxes going towards education, state or otherwise? No. It's ridiculous. that is not how taxes work. Taxes go towards things which benefit society as a whole, whether you personally have need of those services or not. And having private education available to more people from more modest backgrounds rather than just the super rich benefits society. It just does. Sorry.


With respect Kittycat I believe it is only the wealthy who can afford £10k per annum for each child. Most people I know on modest income could never afford one of their children to attend let alone more than one.

May I ask what your definition of modest is?


Hammerhead - I said more modest, meaning more modest in comparison to the wealthy who would otherwise be the only ones who would be able to afford it if the fees were to rise.

I went to Blanchelande and my parents did not earn buckets of money. There were one or two girls in my class who had wealthy parents, but most were nurses, builders, supermarket workers, teachers, or general office workers. Both parents would work, they would save from the birth of their children with the intention of sending them to private school from year 7. They would live in modest houses, forego fancy new cars, would hardly eat out and holiday in Herm and Sark rather than Spain. For two parents on an average salary who save over a number of years and make sacrifices where they can, £10,000 a year for secondary education is achievable (providing they only have one or two children).

Of course the average salary of states school parents vs. private school parents will be different, because at private schools the only very low income parents will be those of scholarship students, and you are likely to have a few people in each year on six-figure salaries bringing the average up. But the majority are normal people who work hard and make sacrifices.


Kittycat - Are you seriously saying that a private examination administered by the colleges should be used to determine how tax payers money should be used and to whom a scholarship should be given ? Without checks and balances to protect the tax payer ? Really ? The old college boy network and friends would have a field day as their chums got places for free !

You say 'because the states subsidy keeps school fees low and therefore affordable for those on an average wage' So what about those who are not on an 'average' wage ? They pay for someone better off than them - it is immoral.

Fees of around £10000 for a huge proportion of the population are impossible especially as there are normally two children in education in most families so you can double it up to £20000.

The States own figures show that the Guernsey Quarterly Population,Employment and Earnings Bulletin June 2016 that the median salary was around £31000 before tax on Guernsey and even if both partners earn that £20000 out of taxed income would leave nothing for living.

Paying for private education can only be funded by the rich not the 'average' person

You have misunderstood my comments if you think I feel that tax should only be paid for services i use. Quite the opposite tax should be paid by all in different % bands and used for all services irrespective of whether you use them or not.



"Paying for private education can only be funded by the rich not the 'average' person"

That really depends on how you define "rich". There are plenty of parents I know who educate their children privately who would definitely not define themselves as rich. What is your definition?

Rupert Walthumstow

Local Guern... so let's say all the parents who pay their fees to the Colleges decide they agree with you and take them out of the College and into the secondary system. Who pays for the child's education then? Not the parents anymore and that subsidy the colleges receive disappears and is replaced with a larger cost of educating the child at a secondary school. So you, the tax payer, are now worse off.


I'm not certain that Education are able to reduce the intake at the Grammar School below their stated 25% policy. If 1 turns down a place they are morally obliged to replace 1. If 20 turn it down they are morally obliged to replace the 20.

No surprise that the Colleges are taking more students. Blanchland are now taking boys. The Ladies College are expanding with new facilities and how long before Elizabeth College buy and convert the Sure building in Upland Road.

It is clear what we will end up with 35% of all children at the Colleges and the rest at the High Schools.

Some areas in the U.K have good Comps but only 6 % are privately educated. With 35% locally our Comps will not be able to compare.

This decision has to be the worst ever made by any States assembly.

I hope I'm wrong but in ten years time I'm sure we'll all see the folly of this politically right or should I say wrong decision.


lets just encourage our kids, failing the 11+ means you are in a select group of people with potential that sadly your society is happy to waste, my advice (I was told that my best place in Guernsey society was menial, I mean I was, not even expected to find a skills job, yet alone where I am ending up, find a society that wants what you can contribute and are amazing at. One amazing life (or at least part of it) later I can tell you failing the 11+ means NOTHING when come to judging your potential.


Great news for the UK in the Queens speech which says 'the government will "look at all options" for opening new schools, but that will not include removing the current ban on expanding selection.'

No expansion of selection in the UK - great news !


Let the wealth of opportunities divide now between the Rich and those who sacrifice and those who aren't Rich and those who even if they chose to sacrifice couldn't afford.

Well done States of Guernsey you are creating a huge wedge between the community for your UK based idealogoies.

I am ashamed of the leftie politicians because they've just increased the gap and have absolutely no idea that is the result of their well founded ideology


TRUDIE - By your reckoning as I never use the buses, fly on Aurigny or have visited the hospital I should be entitled to one huge tax rebate for the services I never use !

We live in a community and in my opinion the immoral capped flat rate of 20% tax should be a far higher percentage of earnings for the high earners. It's not the amount of tax people pay in £ notes that matters it's the percentage of their earnings and we need a higher rate tax band for affluent earners.

Putting it simply the rich should pay around a 25% rate of for instance and those earning less stay on 20%.

I have family who teach in the private and States schools and they will confirm there are huge behaviour and mental health issues in both sectors. You are being naive not to think that.

I stand by my belief that those paying for private education have far higher incomes than those who are in States schools and there should be no subsidy to the colleges.


Why is a flat 20% immoral?

Why should those who have, on the whole, worked incredibly hard to get to their position be penalised for doing so?


Grockle - So those 'who worked incredibly hard' are all people on high wages and there are no people who are on low or minimum wages who also work 'incredibly hard ?'

Are you serious only the affluent work hard ?

The affluent are not being penalised they are contributing to society because they should.

Why should there be a banded tax system? Simply because the more you earn the bigger the percentage of tax from your income should be paid as we live in something called a society where we all contribute what we can for the good of us all. Almost every developed nation has different tax bands from nil up to 80% because they know it's right. Simple really.


Local Guern are you not going off point a bit here, this is about education not raising more taxes off those who you presume should pay more tax, towards what exactly?


I didn't say those on low incomes didn't work hard. You have assumed that, incorrectly. You really should be careful before making assumptions.

The affluent are contributing to society. 20% of their income. As Trudie has mentioned, they are more than likely contributing more to society - monetarily before you make another (incorrect) assumption - than those on lower incomes.


Local Guern, I was simply pointing out the inconvenient truth missing from the argument you raised that the " affluent" parent is a net contributor to the state education of the children of the example you gave ( hospital cleaner's children) who could in any case get a scholarship to the colleges if they became means tested scholarships.

You seem to begrudge affluent people ( by whatever means) but still expect them to hand over increasing amounts of hard earned money ( in some cases) to fund our increasingly inefficient States ( huge pension deficit e.g?)

My comments on problems within state schools are based on friends working in both state and private schools, of course there are problems ( and some different problems) in private schools but they have more options available to them to deal with such problems. Until the root cause of the problems in the current State schools are resolved the educational experience of the children will remain the same regardless of tinkering with the system and buildings.


Trudie - A low earner is unlikely to get in college because they couldn't afford the private turtion. Even in grammar there are less 4% from social housing as per States figures.

I don't begrudge 'affluent' people having better, houses, holidays or cars because they have earned it.

But what I do begrudge is them having better houses, holidays or cars and then expecting someone who can't afford a house, holiday or car to subsidise their child's education. It is wrong.

I have no problem with private education and feel we should copy the Uk and expect parents to pay 100% of the costs. Is that really wrong ?


This has been mentioned before, the 4% excludes those in private rental and you cannot assume that everyone who has managed to buy their own home is wealthy! In fact there are people who would be far better off living off the State but do not want to depend on others and are just about managing ( jams).

If the scholarships were means tested then those on lower incomes would stand more of a chance, there are no official numbers on tuition and I know personally of people who have benefitted from the scholarship system without tuition who otherwise would not have been able to afford to go and are now making an above average contribution back to Guernsey on tax alone ( and in other areas of benefit to the community).

As another poster said above the lower paid worker isn't even covering their own child's education costs never mind subsidise anyone else's, that's where the rest of society comes in, including the affluent and pays the remainder. I have tried explaining this to you 3 times now, no more.

I don't hold a subsidy to the college against them due to scholarship places but would like them means tested and I see no need to be like the UK private schools in this respect as they get different tax concessions to us under a different tax system for their different tax status, it is not comparable.


Trudie - We are not going to agree. I simply believe the States should provide for all children a high quality non -selective education system that is free for all and funded by all tax payers at varying rates of tax dependent upon their income. Some will cover the costs of the education and others will not because they earn less.

If a parent would prefer to pay for a private education then that is fine but no subsidy should be paid and the parent should continue to pay into the States system for the benefit of all.

I would concede that the the private schools could perhaps have some sort of non-profit charitable status but only if they did not discriminate against people with disabilities. After all those children should not be discriminated against on the grounds of disability if they pass the entrance exam. That will hopefully be in law for all institutions if Guernsey passes disability discrimination laws and moves into the twentieth century.


No we are not going to agree because you have this idealised view of how education should be funded here which does not reflect the current reality in this island.

Your version would ensure that no child of modest means would have access to the colleges in the future, the prospect of means testing the scholarships has been raised going forward. I have mentioned before that in the past people have attended via the scholarship system. In more recent times this access has been abused by people who could afford the private fees which I don't agree with. The private schools do not have to grant scholarships to any child once the State subsidy is removed it will be up to them.

It is a fact that it costs the States less to educate a child in the private system than the State system and the removal of the subsidy will be replaced by higher costs to the State as a result of educating these children in States schools instead meaning more taxes to be paid by the working population.

But you don't care about that as being retired you won't be funding it, the current working population who are already stretched will be expected to fork out for that.

Maybe what gets people's backs up about you is that for most of your working life you have benefited from much more favourable allowances e.g mortgage int relief, tax relief on savings, much lower petrol taxes to name but a few areas, but now you are retired, you expect the current working population to fund ever more expensive projects, you mentioned for example a top class healthcare system, without all the benefits you had and without contributing in any significant way to them.

That is not to say you have no right to an opinion but maybe take into consideration how difficult it is for the a large section of the working population right now to even afford to live here, if net pay was taken into account there are a lot more struggling here than you might think, some of which you would classify as wealthly.

Maybe a few ideas to generate income instead of extra taxes would be appreciated.


I can't see what the brouhaha is all about.

I passed a scholarship to the forerunner of the Grammar School in 1935 and my education cost virtually nothing to my parents.

Each of my three children were not selected for Grammar or College under the 11-plus system and went on to Secondary education.

Each found good jobs and prospered on leaving School.

Island Wide Voting

I am in a similar position arjay although some twenty years later than you,but things have changed dramatically since those good old days

Thanks to liar Blair's cunning plan to hang on to power by keeping the unemployment figures down, his 2001 education,education,education speech led to the opening of dozens of plastic Universities to cater for his vision of having 50% of the population earning a degree before they joined the dole queue.In the following years any degree would do ... macrame ... media studies ... the life and times of David Beckham ... anything to keep those young people off the unemployment figures for a few more years

Unfortunately the devious trickery fooled the gullibles for long enough that now almost every teenager and his dog looks upon a few boozy years at University as a right of passage

That's not to say that course subjects nowadays include anywhere near so many of the Mickey Mouse variety,especially now that Mum and Dad,with a certain amount of help from the Guernsey taxpayers have to fork out thousand of pounds per year for the privilege but it's fair to say that things have indeed changed somewhat from 'our day'

Guern through and through

I agree with your comments. I passed to Grammar and my husband didn't. He is on a far better job than I am now. 2 of our children are in secondary education and are doing very well for themselves. . It is how that child applies themselves that matters. As long as they work hard and have a supportive family, they can achieve just the same as those that have had £10000 a year spent on them. Both just missed out on a grammar space and are therefore top of their class at school giving them lots of confidence.


I think this whole 'tutoring kids to pass the 11+' argument has been overdone anyway. Isn't the simple truth that parents who care enough to pay for extra tuition are almost certainly the same ones that take a strong interest in their schoolwork, properly support and encourage them? Any parent could and should do that, with or without extra tuition.


Beanjar - Fortunately we don't need to worry about private tuition as there is no selection for States schools, at least in the near future.

The private colleges can do whatever they like with regard to entry requirements and if tutoring helps so be it. I have always argued that private education is fine with me as long there is no subsidy from the States.

Money that is diverted to the private sector should be used for the new comprehensive schools.



I suspect there will be a lot of private tuition taking place for kids in States schools in the future, once the new shambolic system is put in place and the quality of our education system is eroded. Parents of bright children who would have gone to Grammar, but are unable to afford College fees, may well be able to afford extra tuition to push their kids beyond the mediocrity our new system will deliver.

Guern through and through

So if you go to a states secondary school you are not bright!? Many children may have just missed out on the Grammar school down to 2 tests. It is not based on their school work or how their teacher rates them in school but 2 multiple choice tests. I am fed up of people thinking that if you go to Les Beaucamps, La Mare or St Sampsons you must be thick and have parents that do not care. This is totally untrue.


Guern through and through

You probably need to read my post again.

Guern through and through

you say 'parents of bright children who would have gone to Grammar'. All I am saying is there are parents of bright children who have gone to les Beaucamps


"All I am saying is there are parents of bright children who have gone to les Beaucamps"...and to La Mare and St Sampson's.

My post was speaking about parents who would have had children going to Grammar, and who are unable to pay for college, and who are quite likely to be underwhelmed by the new education system, particularly the first few years. There may also be parents who's kids were never going to pass the 11+ (for whatever reason) who will be underwhelmed by whatever load of rubbish our Deputies and the ED come up with, and who also want to pay for extra tuition.


Sorry This question isn't linked directly to any particular thread but I hoped someone could answer it for me. I know of two scholarship students who are repeating 6th form because they didn't get their grades first time round. Do their parents pay for the privilege of enabling these students to stay on another year or is it on the tax payer's tab?


Scholarship in 6th Form? You just need the grades, there's no scholarship. They may be repeating due to illness, bereavement etc., however that doesn't matter, learners in Guernsey get full-time education on-island up to Level 3 (A Level) if they choose to take it with course fees paid up to age 23.