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Majority of teachers have no confidence in Education plans

News | Published:

THE MAJORITY of teachers do not have confidence in Education’s plans to transform secondary education, a survey carried out by a union revealed.

In response to concerns raised by members of the National Education Union, a survey was conducted for local members to determine the nature and extent of those professional fears.

Results from the survey showed that:

  • 73.3% of members were not confident that the published plans for Les Beaucamps High School site will provide a school fit for purpose for up to 1,400 students, 2.9% of members said they were confident.
  • 64.8% were not confident that the published plans for St Sampson’s High School site will provide a school fit for purpose for up to 1,400 students, 6.75% of members said they were confident.
  • 65.7% were not confident that the quality of educational opportunities in the two proposed colleges would be equal, 10.5% of members said they were confident.
  • 84.8% were not confident that the learning experience for Guernsey students will be improved after the transformation is completed, 3.8% of members said they were confident.
Picture By Steve Sarre 29-12-17.Four School montage. (26330082)

A spokesperson for the NEU said they were sure these findings were a comprehensive representation of the views of their members, especially across the secondary schools.

‘Whilst it is clear that members do not wish to see a return to a selective system, the survey responses did confirm very real concerns about the prospective student experience if the proposals were to go ahead in their current form,’ they said.

‘NEU members remain committed to delivering the highest standards of education. Together with other associations, the NEU will also continue to work in the very best interests of the island’s education community.’

Concerns have been communicated with Education and the Policy & Resources committees.

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Prospect, which represents non-teaching staff in schools, also raised its members’ concerns over the plans for the new 11-18 school. Negotiations executive Stephen Langford said members expressed a number of concerns over how the new school will operate, as might be expected with a change of such magnitude.

Another concern was in relation to the level of staff engagement that had taken place: ‘Together with the teaching unions, we have met with the Education committee and their senior advisors, to make them aware of these concerns and to discuss how best they may be addressed.

‘These discussions have been open and constructive, and various actions have been agreed.’

He said Prospect looked forward to continuing to work with Education to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements for both students and staff.

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Picture By Peter Frankland. 31-05-18 Montage of Education Sport and Culture committee. President Deputy Matt Fallaize and Deputies Peter Roffey, Rhian Tooley, Richard Graham, Mark Dorey. (26330084)

Education president Matt Fallaize recognised that the committee needed to improve the way they communicate and engage with stakeholders and said committee members, officers and school leaders are in all four secondary schools this week to talk to teachers and other staff.

Although the new model of education was agreed by the States in 2018, many of the questions and issues raised by the teaching unions concern matters where final decisions are yet to be made and more discussion is necessary, he said.

This included the allocation of space in the new colleges, the length of the school day, the curriculum model and the future staff structure.

‘Over many years of debate about the future of secondary education it has become clear that opinion is very divided and there is no obvious consensus for any one particular model – not among teachers nor parents nor students nor anyone else.

‘As a committee we have to balance competing priorities. If we provided everything the teachers’ surveys indicate they consider desirable then the costs would be so enormous we would never secure States’ support.

‘If, on the other hand, we put too much emphasis on cost restraint we would not deliver the high standard of facilities and equality of opportunity which our students deserve.

‘As we continue to develop our plans we will keep striking the appropriate balance between these competing priorities,’ said Deputy Fallaize.

Picture By Steve Sarre 30-01-19.. Education President Deputy Matt Fallaize. (26330093)
Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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