‘Pause and review could cost over £11m.’

THE ‘pause and review’ requete on the schools debate should be renamed ‘not determining the best model for secondary education’, says Education, Sport & Culture’s president as he reveals a delay could lead to financial implications of up to £11.3m.

Education, Sport & Culture president Matt Fallaize. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 27256704)
Education, Sport & Culture president Matt Fallaize. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 27256704)

In a Financial Impact Assessment released by ESC, the cost of the ‘pause and review’ requete, proposed by seven deputies, including Andrea Dudley-Owen, Rob Prow and Lester Queripel, could range from £2.4m. to £11.3m., depending on the scenario, when compared with allowing the current States-approved programme to continue on its current timeline.

In scenario one, a comparison of viable alternative models would be drafted and further considered after the general election, producing a policy letter recommending the favoured option to be debated by the States in December.

If the existing model of one school in two 11-18 colleges is chosen, the FIA advises it would cost a further £2-£2.5m. due to the delay caused by revisiting the other models, whereas selecting another model, for example the three-school model, would mean a further investment of £3.5-£4.5m.

In scenario two, a ‘more realistic timeline’ for the model comparison would be given, resulting in a £2.4-£3.4m. cost if the same model was chosen or a cost of £3.5-£4.5m. if another model, such as the three-school model, was chosen, the most expensive of the outcomes.

Other expenses, including underwriting third party expenses could mean a loss of £0.5m. if another model was selected, due to a reimbursement of building contracts and school uniform suppliers.

An additional sum of approximately £1.2-£1.7m. would also be accrued for every year of delay, taking into account inflation.

In each scenario the FIA states there would be a delay, plus a possible write-off of any investment made to date in the currently approved model.

In a letter to Policy & Resources dated Friday 21 February, ESC president Matt Fallaize described the requete to delay the transition into one school in two 11-18 colleges, which has been under way since 2018, as ‘ill-considered’ and ‘unnecessary’. He added they had not come up with any viable alternative models, without which it meant the States would review models previously rejected, taking them back years.

‘If the States approve the requete, not for the first time they will be writing off significant sums of money which they have caused to be invested in developing the future model of secondary education by directing the introduction of that model twice in the past two years, and most recently six months ago,’ wrote Deputy Fallaize.

‘They will also be committing substantial further expenditure in order to carry out more comparisons between the model of secondary education they have approved twice against an unquantified number of other models which have previously been rejected.

‘It is difficult to see how this pattern of decision-making can add to the credibility and reputation of the States for making strategic decisions and putting them into effect.’

To date, expenditure on the Transforming Education Programme amounts to £3.9m., of which between £2.8-£2.9m. would be written off if the current one school in two 11-18 colleges model was not progressed.

n The States meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to debate the requete and six other amendments to the proposed model.

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