ESC wants sixth form centre next to Guernsey Institute

A SIXTH-FORM centre at Les Ozouets alongside the new Guernsey Institute, and three 11-16 schools, is the preferred model of the new Education committee.

Andrea Dudley-Owen, president of Education, Sport & Culture which has released details of its preferred three-school model, with a sixth-form centre at Les Ozouets alongside the new Guernsey Institute, and three 11-16 schools. (Montage picture by Peter Frankland, 29310353)
Andrea Dudley-Owen, president of Education, Sport & Culture which has released details of its preferred three-school model, with a sixth-form centre at Les Ozouets alongside the new Guernsey Institute, and three 11-16 schools. (Montage picture by Peter Frankland, 29310353)

It has set out its vision for the future of secondary and post-16 education on the island.

At Les Ozouets the academic and vocational institutions would be ‘co-located’ and not fully integrated, although operational benefits between the two are being explored.

Les Beaucamps and St Sampson’s schools are confirmed sites for 11-16 schools, and the third site would be at either Les Varendes or La Mare de Carteret.

Regarding the post-16 campus, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, the president of ESC, said a cultural change was crucial in the years ahead as the island moves towards a more skills-based economy.

‘The creation of a post-16 campus, where a sixth form centre and The Guernsey Institute are co-located and seek to maximise operational synergies while remaining separate organisations, has the potential to create a truly adult learning environment for the island, into which all of our students will graduate after completing their Key Stage 4 studies.

‘We recognise the vital role that the post-16 sector plays in building the human capital – the value of knowledge, skills and experience – of our young adults, which Guernsey’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity relies upon.

‘We are determined that in creating a campus that is used for all post-16 education we will begin the journey of mind-set shift in our community when it comes to comparisons between A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate with technical, professional and vocational qualifications all of which are equally valuable, and should have appropriate currency with employers and Higher Education institutions.

‘We also believe the committee’s direction aligns with the electorate’s wishes given the strong indication from the ballot box in October, when many voted for candidates whose manifestos expressly stated a preference for a three-school model.’

In developing their preferred model, ESC established four principles.

Firstly, that the sixth form should not be split across more than one site.

Another fundamental was that there should be better equity and pragmatism.

Prevailing economic opportunity and limitations of the current financial climate was a key consideration.

Finally, the model had to be deliverable in a realistic timeframe whilst being mindful of the disruption to the school community and easily understood by all stakeholders.

In 2017, the Education committee at that time put forward proposals for three 11-16 schools and a separate tertiary college combining all post-16 sixth form and further education at Les Varendes.

That idea tanked after teachers criticised the merger of academic and vocational studies.

Then in 2018 the States agreed that two school model should be pursued, but the axe fell after considerable resistance from teachers and the community.

Significant consultation has been done this time with the teaching staff, and Deputy Dudley-Owen said that had shaped their thinking.

‘The extensive consultation carried out with staff last year, via a survey in June and workshops at each of the four mainstream Secondary schools later in the year, played a key role in shaping these principles.

‘We also considered the current economic situation, our future recovery and ensuring we were laying the building

blocks for an education system which is fit for the 21st Century.’

Further details will be released when ESC publishes their policy letter on 10 May.

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