Education’s answers fail to convince its opponents as push for delay intensifies

A BID will be made to delay any awarding of contracts for the new schools building programme until after the election after Education failed to answer critics' concerns.

Deputies Carl Meerveld, Rob Prow and Andrea Dudley-Owen (26909980)
Deputies Carl Meerveld, Rob Prow and Andrea Dudley-Owen (26909980)

Deputies Andrea Dudley-Owen, Carl Meerveld and Rob Prow will lay the requete.

'The committee will be asked to create a report which evaluates together the already researched and viable methods of delivering education in Guernsey,' they said in a joint statement.

'Forcing through fundamental changes to our education system and its properties with undue haste before the election is neither prudent nor good practice. This delay will enable further evaluation of the model against the serious concerns raised by douzaines, teachers, teaching unions, parents, pupils and residents.'

They said Education president Deputy Matt Fallaize’s responses to yesterday’s Rule 11 questions in the States 'reinforces the urgent need for this requete to prevent the hasty implementation of a plan which will materially change Guernsey’s education system for the next 50 years'.

'It is clear from his responses as the current president of the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture that he and his committee have no intention of making any substantial changes to the planned building footprints or 1 school on 2 sites management structure, regardless of the legitimacy of any objections from douzaines, teachers, teaching unions, parents, pupils and residents.'

Deputy Fallaize said that the footprint of the buildings is not going to be enlarged beyond the extensions already approved by the States, while any changes to the internal space was largely a matter of reallocating it from one purpose to another.

'The deputies developing this requete are very concerned that a headlong rush to implement these plans before the election will result in issues undermining our education system for the 50-year design life of the new buildings.

'The requete will request a delay in awarding contracts until after the election when the newly elected Education Committee and Assembly, the people who will be responsible for the majority of the implementation, can make their assessment and decide whether to support the plans as proposed.

'In the face of such growing public and professional opposition, if Deputy Fallaize and his committee are confident in the integrity of their plans, they should not object to a reasonable delay in a model which is expected to last Guernsey for at least 50 years and will enable the next committee and Assembly to review and endorse them.'

Some residents have now started a green ribbon campaign to show their opposition to the one school over two sites approach.

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