Guernsey Press

Education takes one school on multiple sites model off table

THE one school over different sites concept and its shared uniform is dead because Education leaders have said they want to foster different school identities and cultures.

ESC president Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Montage by Peter Frankland)

The idea had been that one over-arching ethos would have enabled States schools to work together to strengthen teaching and learning and to offer a wider choice of subjects.

In a recorded video message to island teaching staff, Education, Sport & Culture president Andrea Dudley-Owen said the idea was no longer being pursued.

‘We’ve decided that the one school concept is no longer on the table,’ she said.

‘We listened when you said, via the consultation exercise, that it is really important for schools to have their own identity and culture, and we totally agree with you.

‘But we also know that when schools share expertise, and best practice, and work closely together, they become greater than the sum of their parts.

‘So the secondary schools partnership will play a vital role and the sixth form will be part of it.

‘While the structure of this model is three 11-16 schools and a post-16 campus, it is actually a vision for an equitable 11-18 delivery framework, provided through the secondary school partnership and the Guernsey Institute.’

The 15-minute video also revealed that a new communication, interaction and autism base is planned for the lower car park at Les Beaucamps.

This will be the island’s main autism base and there will be satellite bases at the other two sites.

Les Beaucamps and St Sampson’s are confirmed school locations. No decision has been taken yet on whether Les Varendes or La Mare de Carteret will be the third site.

The Sixth Form Centre will be co-located at Les Ozouets, next to the Guernsey Institute, and Bob Murray, the vice president of ESC, explained that vision.

‘We’ve been very clear that each of the entities will be separate and operate independently, but where it might make practical sense, or where we see benefits in students coming together, facilities like those used for sports or socialising, like the refectory, might well be shared.

‘And of course we want to retain the Princess Royal theatre as a shared space.

‘Constructing two purpose-built facilities at Les Ozouets as part of the same building programme would minimise disruption and free up space at Les Varendes.’

On the question of whether Les Ozouets was big enough for the two entities, Deputy Murray gave a clear yes.

‘We will work really closely with the architects and the planners to make the best possible use of the space, including providing as much parking as we possibly can.’

Engagement sessions with school staff are taking place this week and unions have called for more detail about the plans.

A policy letter is due to be published at the end of this month and Deputy Dudley-Owen explained that the committee has focused on high-level strategy, rather than operational issues such as timetables and staffing structures.

‘After the debate in July, if the States agree with the policy direction we’re recommending, the work around developing the detail really kicks in, and it’s essential that this work is carried out collaboratively with you and your union representatives,’ she said in the video.

Is this the end for Lisia School?

THE previous ESC committee announced in July 2019, in support of its one school on two sites model, that the school would be called Lisia School and the two colleges Victor Hugo and de Saumarez.

At the time of that announcement, then committee president Matt Fallaize revealed details of a uniform of dark grey blazer, black trousers or pleated skirt, white shirt and tie.