La Mare rebuild part of three-school plan
TWO former Education Committee members say their previously dismissed three-school model beats the two-school one hands down and want it to be considered again by the States.
David De Lisle and Paul Le Pelley, who are also two former teachers with more than 40 years of experience in local secondary schools, have drawn up an amendment after deciding neither the ‘pause and review’ requete laid by Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen and six others, nor the amendments that have been suggested go far enough.
They have said both the requete and the amendments for the two-school model that is currently under way, which has so far cost taxpayers nearly £4m., do not alleviate the concerns of the great majority of the island’s teachers, parents, students and trade union officials, including traffic issues, space or infrastructure problems, and believe their amendment does more to address and answer these.
Their amendment proposes a three-school model, which includes the re-building of La Mare De Carteret High School alongside moderately enlarged high schools at Baubigny and Les Beaucamps, with the current Grammar School being retained as a sixth form centre and the College of Further Education operating as one organisation providing vocational, professional and technical education for full-time and part-time students, including apprentices.
Deputy De Lisle, who proposed the amendment, said it should not cost any more than the current model. ‘We originally suggested this model back in 2018 and it was due to cost around £74m.,’ he said.
‘This will increase due to inflation but will remain considerably less than what is being proposed now.’
The two-college model being looked at has costs of £77.9m. building the all-ability 11-18 Baubigny and Les Beaucamps site builds, with £51.1m. spent on the College of Further Education for vocational, professional and technical education. The amendment drawn up by Deputies De Lisle and Le Pelley looks at a rebuild of the La Mare De Carteret High at a cost of £49.6m., with Grammar requiring more than £21m.-worth of work to accommodate up to 900 full-time post-16 students.
‘We want a world-class education system,’ added Deputy De Lisle.
‘The amendments that are currently up for debate do not address the various traffic, space – both inside the school buildings – as well as other infrastructure problems.
‘Our proposal supports many of the work streams already being undertaken to modernise the Guernsey Education Law, to improve the well-being and mental health of students and does not interfere with Le Murier and Les Voies special needs schools or the Institute of Higher Education.
‘We believe the great majority of stakeholders desire a three-school model with a separate sixth-form centre.’
Former Education president, Deputy Le Pelley, who resigned two years ago over the rejection of the same proposal as set out in this amendment, agreed.
‘This model was highlighted two years ago and I resigned when it was rejected,’ he said.
‘But I’ve kept a close eye on what is happening and over the last three or four months, there has been a wave of resistance.
‘We want to put this amendment through based on the present pupils and teachers thoughts on the current proposals for the two-school model... from people that have stopped me on the street, to people who went on the march and from speaking to deputies.
‘Despite [missing] the deadline for accepting amendments for the next States, we hope it will be considered.
‘However, if this amendment is not allowed, we will support the requete, although, to reflect public opinion, we believe it needs to be debated.’
n The States meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to debate the requete and five other amendments to the proposed model.