Unions keen to see if their concerns have been considered in school plans
ANYTHING which falls short of teachers’ expectations of a 21st century educational establishment would be an opportunity missed, teachers’ union representatives have said.
Following the public release of the new single Lisia School expansion, teachers’ unions the National Education Union and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers have said they are keen to look at whether their previously voiced concerns had been considered.
NEU Guernsey spokesman Sean McManus said they would be looking at the plans for both schools, including the current Les Beaucamps school, which detail a floor area increase from 9,800sq.m to nearly 14,000sq. m, as soon as possible.
‘NEU representatives have joined their colleagues from other associations to make explicit the very real concerns of staff in our schools,’ he said.
‘As yet, those representatives have not seen the details of any revamped plans that have been submitted for approval.
‘However, many teachers feel that they have been led to expect secondary schools and associated facilities designed to meet 21st century educational requirements.
‘[Our] members will want to be certain that the more than 40 detailed concerns identified by staff and passed on to both Education, Sport & Culture and Policy & Resources have been appropriately accommodated within any revised plans.’
Released on Tuesday, the plans contain more than 500 pages and can be accessed in person only at Frossard House between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
He added that it would be an opportunity missed if union members’ expectations of the plans had not been reviewed.
‘Anything which falls significantly short of those expectations, and particularly if the plans appear to be even less favourable than current provision, can only serve to further damage morale and to undermine already low levels of staff confidence in the secondary transformation process.
‘NEU members are likely to perceive such an outcome as representing an opportunity missed and this would be a real pity at a time when the voices of education should be moving forward together.’
A recent NASUWT survey also revealed that teachers felt professionals had not been listened to with regard to the education transformation.
Regardless, NASUWT acting general secretary Chris Keates said they would continue to implore the States to review development of the buildings.
‘A recent survey of NASUWT members in Guernsey found that over three-quarters do not agree with the current plans for school transformation,’ she said.
‘[This is] more than four in five disagreeing with the current plans for one school on two sites.’
n The planning application is currently available to view at Sir Charles Frossard House and will be available for the public to make representations until Friday 27 December.