By 24 votes to 15, States members rejected Tina Bury’s plea for a side-by-side comparison of different schooling models to be considered fully.
At the heart of the debate was the plea ‘trust me – and trust our colleagues’ from Andrea Dudley-Owen, the president of Education, Sport & Culture.
‘This is about confidence, members do you have confidence in the committee to provide all the data?
‘This Assembly needs to give us their confidence in its decision on the future policy letter.’
Deputy Dudley-Owen said when its proposals are published in May, they will be comprehensive, including work produced by previous committees, details of the consultation and various comparisons.
‘When we found the results of the review were a nonsense, we set about the work using a set of simple principles informed largely by consultation with the profession and we began our work using the new benchmark to identify the best-fit model to deliver education in Guernsey.
‘The two-school model didn’t make it past the start line because it falls short of the principles we have adopted.
‘I do not want to waste any more time or resources on backing models which will not be accepted, time is running short.’
The vote on Deputy Bury’s amendment was the first important publicly recorded vote where The Guernsey Party and the unofficial grouping known as the van party all voted en bloc.
Party lines were on display because they all voted to throw out the motion and seven out of nine members of the Partnership of Independents voted in favour.
For Deputy Mark Helyar, from The Guernsey Party, the important issue was to have faith.
‘It is vitally important if we’re to get anything done, we have to trust, we have to have confidence in those to whom we delegated the task.’
In his maiden speech to the Assembly, Deputy Sam Haskins, a member of ESC, echoed calls for States members to trust the integrity and capability of the committee.
He provided details about why they believed a like-for-like comparison against a benchmark of the two-school model was fraught with logistical problems.
In support of the amendment, Deputy Steve Falla said it was a ‘no brainer’; Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller expressed surprise that raising educational standards was not among ESC’s guiding principles; and Deputy Al Brouard wanted to see the full review ‘warts and all’.
Amendment seconder Deputy Adrian Gabriel said the island did not want a ‘watered down’ review.
How they voted ...
... on Deputy Tina Bury’s amendment for the ‘pause and review’ investigation to be completed and properly considered
Against: Deputies Andy Cameron, David De Lisle, Andrea Dudley-Owen, John Dyke, Peter Ferbrache, Sam Haskins, Mark Helyar, Neil Inder, Chris Le Tissier, Marc Leadbeater, David Mahoney, Liam McKenna, Carl Meerveld, Nick Moakes, Bob Murray, Rob Prow, Lester Queripel, Heidi Soulsby, Andrew Taylor, Simon Vermeulen, Sue Aldwell and Chris Blin plus Alderney representatives Steve Roberts, Alex Snowdon. Total: 24
For: Deputies Lindsay de Sausmarez, Simon Fairclough, Steve Falla, Adrian Gabriel, John Gollop, Sasha Kazantseva-Miller, Aidan Matthews, Victoria Oliver, Charles Parkinson, Peter Roffey, Gavin St Pier, Lyndon Trott, Al Brouard, Yvonne Burford and Tina Bury.
Abstained: Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq.