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Scrutiny seeks evidence for Education’s savings claim

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EDUCATION’S transformation proposals are light on evidence to support their costs claims, Scrutiny Management has said.

Scrutiny Management president Deputy Chris Green. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 25212138)

While there was some reassurance yesterday that States members should see the programme business case ‘shortly’, there is no confirmation that it will be made public.

The committee says its one-school, two-colleges approach, allowing for some savings to be reinvested in education to the benefit of students, will cost between £1.8m. and £2.2m. less per year to run than if no changes were made.

However, it has not said how much per year that amounts to.

It has also said the capital cost of extending the secondary schools at St Sampson’s and Les Beaucamps will be £69m., at least £30m. less than forecast by the previous committee when the States agreed the two-college model in 2018, while the cost of a brand-new purpose-built development at Les Ozouets for further and higher education will be £47.5m., around £20m. less than originally forecast.

‘We will be writing to the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture to request much further financial and other information given that the current policy letter appears light of supporting evidence on the full capital costs requested and on how the alleged savings stack up,’ said Scrutiny chairman Deputy Chris Green.

‘We did not get early sight of the policy letter and neither has Scrutiny received any extra information from Education.

‘Once we have received further and better information, we will be in a much better position to start our letter of comment and potentially hold a public hearing to seek further clarification on the numbers and value for money.

‘The current details in the report do not give us a basis to assess value for money considerations.’

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He says that the business case should be made public.

The Guernsey Press has also requested a copy of a key assessment carried out and referenced in the report, which dictated how large each extension would be.

Discussion of the need for evidence of value for money of the proposals has also taken place on Twitter. Deputy Neil Inder said: ‘wouldn’t be first time States stuck finger in the air. Or just randomly made up costs, or indeed no costs. Inert Waste.....’

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