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Education’s review criteria promising – requete leader

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THOSE who voiced strong opinions against the one school on two sites model of secondary education are cautiously optimistic that Education’s review of the best model will be fair and considered.

Deputies faced protesters carrying banners and wearing the People Power Guernsey campaign symbol of a green ribbon on their way into the States to debate the pause and review requete on secondary education. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 28421976)

The committee has published its terms of reference for a fresh review of secondary education and has made clear that it is more interested in getting agreement on a model that can be used to secure improvements than in winning an old argument about the review.

The deputy who led the successful pause and review requete, Andrea Dudley-Owen, said the overall detail that has been provided by Education for the review has been promising.

‘I’m pleased to see that ESC has put forward in a clear and easy-to-understand format exactly what their considerations in the review will be,’ she said.

‘If the work is being done with proper consultation, as it looks like it is, I hope the outcome will be fully considerate of all options.’

However, Deputy Carl Meerveld still had concerns.

‘The current committee has dogmatically pursued the two-school model and tried to bulldoze it through regardless of concerns and opposition.’

He remained concerned that Deputy Matt Fallaize’s committee would pursue this model whatever the review says, which is why he supported the requete which required the new committee after the election to present this review and appropriate proposals.

Mark Mauger is a spokesman for People Power Guernsey, the group which campaigned for a pause and review of ESC’s proposed two-school model.

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He said at this point it seemed the committee were being open about what they were trying to achieve with this review.

‘However, something that might muddy the waters is the general election in October because we could have a whole new committee who might look at things differently and move more forcefully – in either direction.’

Mr Mauger wondered whether the big media release from the States was a bit of a PR stunt to keep the opposition quiet but the committee still had an agenda to drive home its one school on two sites model.

‘At this point, though, I can’t say either way, I just hope they’re being open and are properly considering this review like they say they are to find the best solution for Guernsey.’

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Deputy Rob Prow, a signatory to the pause and review requete, said it would be very easy to be cynical about the real intentions of the ESC when the committee responded to this democratic challenge in its letter of comment by calling the requete ‘irresponsible, unnecessary, damaging and destructive’.

However, he is now very encouraged that ESC said it wanted to be clear that it was more interested in reaching an agreed model that can be used to secure improvements than ‘winning an old argument’.

‘I am further very encouraged that they have said that, with their advisors, they have started meeting with union representatives,’ Deputy Prow said.

Stakeholder engagement and public consultation was a key plank of the requete and he welcomed and supported the comments that ESC will be working collaboratively with the teaching professionals.

‘However, the proof of that particular pudding will be in the eating, once the review is completed.’

Zoe Fitch

By Zoe Fitch
News reporter

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