Guernsey Press

LISTEN: Bold culture shift heralded by Education president

A NEW VISION for Guernsey schools has been set out, and it comes with the warning that failure to accept it will threaten the island's economic prosperity and young people will get left behind.

President of Education, Sport & Culture Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, right, with committee vice-president Deputy Bob Murray, left, and committee member Deputy Sue Aldwell, right. (Picture by Guernsey Press, 29601852)

The policy letter on the overhaul of secondary education has now been published, under the motto 'belong, be confident, become'.

Speaking on the Guernsey Press Politics Podcast, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, the president of Education, Sport & Culture said the proposals represented a bold cultural shift which would prepare young people for the complex demands of tomorrow's economies.

Listen below:

'The skills based economy is really strong in Guernsey, we've got an awful lot of small businesses and skilled trades that form the backbone of our economy upon which we rely, and with the changing face of professional services and administration there are jobs that are around now that won't be there in the future, and we really have to invest in our kids now.

'It's absolutely critical because for too many years now we've coasted on the back of the success of the finance industry, and that's coming to an end, we really need to do something different.'

The so-called 'flagship' of the proposals is the post-16 campus at Les Ozouets, bringing academic and vocational education within the same site, allowing pupils to use both their brains and their hands.

The intention is that this new philosophy would emphasise the value of vocational, professional and technical careers, and inspire young people about the world of work and allow them to progress to aspirational and informed careers.

Three 11-16 schools would be sited at St Sampson's, Les Beaucamps, and Les Varendes.

The capital costs for the whole project have been estimated at between £43.5m. and £54m., and annual running costs are in line with the current set-up.

In comparison, the two school model had a capital price tag of £73.9m., but it included better sports facilities and co-located healthcare services, and lower revenue costs.

As well as developing confident, enterprising and ambitious young people, Deputy Dudley-Owen made a pledge that academic rigour and attainment levels would improve.

'I want educational standards to rise in Guernsey because we need to be on that journey of continual improvement, it's never enough just to stand still, which is what's happened previously and I think we've been quite complacent.

'The model is not what drives those educational improvements, it's a factor, but it's not what drives it, and we're looking at other changes at Education.'