Condition of College of FE facilities ‘among worst ever seen’

THE building conditions within the College of Further Education are so bad that independent consultants have said they are among the worst they have ever seen.

.Guernsey College of Further Education's Les Ozouets Campus has been strongly criticised by inspectors.
.Guernsey College of Further Education's Les Ozouets Campus has been strongly criticised by inspectors.

Leaking roofs, single-glazed windows, tired and outdated flooring, furniture and equipment are all highlighted in the report by Peter Marsh Consulting Ltd.

Only 2% of the main building at the College of Further Education’s Les Ozouets campus was rated as ‘good’.

At the Delancey campus none of the buildings were rated as good, and at Les Coutanchez the workshops and huts were rated as fair or poor in their entirety.

The Education, Sport & Culture committee commissioned the report as part of its overall transformation program and it is asking for £47.5m. to bring vocational, professional and technical education all on one site in new purpose-built facilities at Les Ozouets.

The consultants said that the current facilities ‘are some of the least fit for purpose, most dispersed and uninspiring further education spaces that we have ever seen in the sector’.

They remarked that the quality of almost all the teaching spaces ‘fall far short of those on the two new school sites and accordingly they communicate an impression that technical and vocational education is second class’.

In their view the poor conditions made the case for investment in new and replacement facilities ‘indisputable’.

The College of FE has a full-time cohort of approximately 400 students, but the current uptake of courses is below what is considered typical of the sector and this is put down to the ‘wholly inadequate nature of the facilities and courses being delivered in spaces for which they were not designed’.

ESC wants to bring the College of Further Education, the Institute of Health & Social Care Studies, and the Guernsey Training Agency all onto a single site, and it believes Les Ozouets is the best location.

The three organisations have already been brought together in name, they are now known collectively as the ‘Guernsey Institute’, and it already has a shadow board of governors.

The case for bringing together the three bodies is that they should be stronger and more resilient together rather than apart.

Secondly, ESC has an ambition of achieving University College status for the Guernsey Institute, and it is thought that this would be impossible if the three providers continue to operate alone.

It is also hoped that a pooling of resources will reduce the gap in public esteem between academic and vocational routes.

In its policy letter going before the States in September the ESC states that the Les Ozouets site is comfortably large enough to accommodate the whole redevelopment and would allow classes to continue until the new accommodation is available.

‘Les Ozouets provides sufficient capacity for future expansion if required.

‘It is in a central location and the staggered arrival and departure times of students will ensure a smooth flow of people and traffic.’

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