ESC deputy’s change of heart ‘genuine surprise’

THE other members of Education, Sport & Culture were left ‘surprised and disappointed’ when colleague Andy Cameron turned against its secondary school and post-16 proposals at the last minute.

Education, Sport & Culture president Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29616292)
Education, Sport & Culture president Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29616292)

As the committee announced its plans for three 11-16 schools at St Sampson’s, Les Varendes and Les Beaucamps and a co-located sixth form and Guernsey Institute at Les Ozouets last Friday, it was revealed that the new deputy was not backing them, after seven months of supporting the committee, president Andrea Dudley-Owen said.

‘It was therefore a genuine surprise when Deputy Cameron only very recently expressed his concerns about the proposals, and until Friday afternoon, just before the policy letter was submitted, the rest of the committee were unsure whether Deputy Cameron supported or opposed what was being taken to the States,’ she said.

‘Naturally it is disappointing that Deputy Cameron has felt unable to support the propositions and we have been particularly concerned by the timing of his decision. The rest of the committee remains convinced that our proposed model is the right one for Guernsey and Alderney.’

Deputy Dudley-Owen said the committee respected Deputy Cameron’s decision to oppose the proposal, but remained optimistic that he might change his mind and was staying in discussions with him.

In his manifesto Deputy Cameron said he would support a school system with three 11-16 colleges and a separate sixth form centre, as these were in his view the most efficient and cost-effective choices.

Earlier this week he issued a statement saying he believed it would be better to leave the sixth form centre at the Les Varendes site rather than spend £30m. moving it down the road to Les Ozouets. The money saved could be better spent on improving the school sites.

Deputy Dudley-Owen said the committee had considered but rejected Deputy Cameron's favoured ‘do minimum’ option, as part of its options appraisal.

‘The committee unanimously rejected this at the time because it was felt strongly that this option resulted in inequitable provision, lacks ambition and would result in more than 1,000 students being on one site at the same time,’ she said.

Two-school model critic thinks ESC plan will be approved Page 2

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