Matt Fallaize initially responded on Twitter to the news that ESC favoured having three 11-16 schools plus co-locating a sixth form college with the new vocational Guernsey Institute at the current College of FE site at Les Ozouets.
‘Secondary education is currently provided from four sites. The new proposal is also to provide it from four sites,’ he tweeted.
‘Doubling the sites from the previous proposals will be expensive. Capital costs should be lower of course.’
He told the Guernsey Press that the committee’s announcement of its preferred model did not surprise him and it was possible to see how this had come about in response to teachers’ and voters’ views.
‘If compared on a like-for-like basis, I’d be surprised if the new committee’s model is not significantly more expensive each year – well into seven figures more,’ he said.
‘But that’s on a like-for- like basis. If provision is cut, the running costs of the preferred model could be reduced.’
While indicative capital costs had been provided in the former committee’s review, indicative revenue costs were still being developed.
He would be surprised if the model did not require some increase in class sizes (either average or maximum) to meet the annual budget which the States is prepared to provide.
The three schools plus sixth form centre option would have an effect on running costs, with the costs altered as the number of secondary teachers and students are dispersed between more or fewer sites, he said, and this would be irrespective of other activities (such as the Guernsey Institute) on any site.
However, he said that ‘capital costs could be substantially less expensive, especially if Les Varendes is used rather than La Mare de Carteret, and provided 700-800 students are accommodated at both St Sampson’s and Les Beaucamps without any extensions to those schools.’
He said that despite his misgivings, the preferred model is ‘probably capable of delivering the objectives ... if the objectives of education reform are convenient management of the existing estate and keeping things as they are currently for most staff in most schools.’