Teachers hold emergency talks on future of secondary schools
TEACHING union members held urgent meetings last night to have emergency talks on the future of secondary schools in the island.
Halls and rooms were packed at St Sampson’s High School as teachers gathered.
Education has been trying to move forward with its creation of the new Lisia School, which would be made up of the Victor Hugo College on the St Sampson’s High site and de Saumarez College at Les Beaucamps.
The latest meetings come as a group of deputies started calling for a one-year delay on the programme to transform Guernsey’s state schools over concerns about the proposed system.
The Negotiating Committee for Teachers and Lecturers in Guernsey – which is an umbrella organisation of unions and professional unions – confirmed that a statement would be issued shortly, once the union representatives have met.
‘The numbers [here tonight] show the strength of feeling about the plans,’ a NCTLG spokesperson said.
The National Education Union, the Association of School and College Leaders, the National Association of Head Teachers, The National Association of Schoolmasters / Union of Women Teachers and Prospect all held meetings at the school yesterday evening to allow members to discuss their worries.
NASUWT national negotiating official Wayne Bates estimated about 100 teachers attended his union’s meeting, which included the vast majority of their secondary school teacher members.
‘The general feedback is that our members still have deep concerns about the proposals,’ he said.
‘The overwhelming view was to support the proposed requete to delay it, pending further discussions... I think a delay will give breathing space.’
He said the union was keen to work with Education to have its concerns addressed. But currently he said that Education was not open to changing some of the big issues that were concerning teachers. He added that overcrowding was one of those issues.
‘This is a huge reform of the education system and all likelihood there will not be another change like this,’ Mr Bates said.
‘It’s important to get it right.’
Mr Bates said it was very unusual for all the unions to meet in one place like this in Guernsey and this was the first time he was aware of it happening.
‘But then this is a big issue,’ he said.