‘Education cannot shoehorn two superschools into existing sites’

THREE politicians have launched fresh attacks on Education’s plans for the one school, two sites model.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen.  (Picture by Peter Frankland, 26811831)
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 26811831)

Former Education members Deputies Andrea Dudley-Owen and Carl Meerveld, along with Robert Prow, have issued an open letter, stating that Education was imposing a school model on Guernsey which the public had not asked for.

They have now submitted formal questions to ESC and plan to lay a requete asking the States to review the proposals before the end of the current political term.

The letter follows the submission of planning applications last month to enlarge Les Beaucamps and St Sampson’s High Schools to take on all 11 to 18 pupils as part of the new Lisia School.

‘There is a serious lack of information around the policy and little evidence has been provided to show where educational outcomes will improve for each child and whether the taxpayer will get value for money from the large price tag,’ they wrote.

‘The viability of whether the super-schools can be shoehorned onto existing footprints is questionable. With access to the schools for all of the children and staff via small roads concerns have been raised about the traffic impact assessments suggestion that wholesale behaviour change around the use of cars is the only answer.’

Education president Matt Fallaize said his committee stood by the model.

‘The case for the new model of secondary education is as strong now as when it was approved by the States in 2018 and 2019,’ he said.

‘The new Lisia School’s two colleges will deliver excellence for all and equality of opportunity.’

The trio of deputies were critical of how they felt that information was being drip-fed to the public.

‘There are real concerns about the impact on not just the parishes, but on Guernsey as a whole,’ they said.

‘Many people are making their feelings known to us and other deputies as well as the douzaines via social media, direct email or letter correspondence. Comments are identifiable and are credible representations from right across the community.

‘Reform plans as impactful as these with a total attached price tag of £157m. of public money should be supported by more detail than has been provided.’

The trio have been prominent critics of the proposals. Deputy Meerveld resigned as Education vice-president in 2017 after accepting the blame for the launch of a clandestine PR campaign that was to be funded using public money.

Deputies Dudley-Owen led a rejected sursis in September to delay the project to allow further research to take place.

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