Deputies’ requete calls for year delay on school plans

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A GROUP of deputies are calling for a one-year delay on the program to transform Guernsey’s states schools, highlighting possible significant cost overruns and the level of public outcry.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (26944075)

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen is heading the charge for a potential u-turn on the two-school model, and has now published a draft copy of her requete.

She wants the new States Assembly, voted in after this June’s general election, to be given the opportunity to make the final decision, because it will be the new Assembly who is responsible for making it happen.

Deputy Dudley-Owen has consistently argued against the two school model, she believes it would create impersonal education factories, where vulnerable pupils would get lost in the system and bullied.

The requete has two propositions:

Firstly, that Education, Sport & Culture should not enter any contractual obligations or continue with the procurement processes for the one school on two sites plan.

The second proposition is that ESC should prepare a policy letter that includes a comprehensive comparison of the two-school model with other models of non-selective education.

The requete does not include selective models of education, which means the controversial 11 plus is not back on the agenda.

In January 2018, deputies voted by 26-13 to pursue the one school, two colleges model, and in September 2019 that decision was endorsed when States members voted by 22-15 to provide £77.9m. in financial banking.

Despite those fairly resounding votes, Deputy Dudley-Owen believes the landscape has changed because of the reaction of teachers and the douzaines, plus people have now seen the actual planning applications.

So far no deputies have come out publicly and said they want to switch sides.

Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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