Critics ‘peddling myth that there will be a solution with which everyone agrees’
THE States has already shown that it supports the ‘one school on two sites’ proposals, Education president Matt Fallaize has said.
He said there were significant resource advantages in two 11-18 colleges and all pupils would have access to first-class facilities.
‘In both of the two new colleges there will be enough students and staff to offer the broadest possible curriculum,’ he said.
‘There will be more resilience in staffing departments, ensuring subject specialist teachers for all students, all of the time. The new model will also provide better facilities for special and additional educational needs.’
He did not think the matter should go back to the States again.
‘The States have twice, in 2018 and 2019, supported the new model of secondary education,’ he said.
‘On both occasions, Deputies Dudley-Owen and Meerveld have argued against the model and have been defeated by a two-to-one majority. This is the latest in a long line of their attempts to ask the States to carry out a U-turn.
‘The difference now is that we are essentially two years into a five- or six-year transition phase.
‘Senior staff appointments have been made to the new school, and children know which school they will attend in all future years.
‘Asking the States to abandon the reforms they have already agreed twice is highly irresponsible given that the changes are well under way.’
He said the deputies were being irresponsible, especially as they had offered no alternative models of their own, other than those already rejected.
‘This is not good government, and risks creating major uncertainty,’ he said.
‘It is the worst form of destructive politics.
‘We know from the years of debating education there is no one model that everyone would support. It is a divisive subject.
‘The one school, two colleges model is the only model which has been approved by the previous or present States.
‘Deputies Dudley-Owen and Meerveld are peddling a myth that there will suddenly be a solution which everyone agrees with. The reality is that those opposed to the new model have a dozen or more different ideas about how they would like to see education organised instead.’
He said that the community had endured enough uncertainty over the future of secondary education in recent years.
‘The States have spent five years debating and re-debating the way forward but since the new model was agreed we are now well beyond the phase of ideas and debate and have made significant progress in delivering the changes directed by the States,’ he said.
‘All of us with a responsibility for education, including States members, now need to work together constructively to deliver the clear benefits of the new Lisia School and its two 11-18 colleges.’