Education ‘to work with staff on transition plans’

EDUCATION wants to work with staff to form school transition arrangements when the new secondary model is introduced, its president Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen has said.

Education members Sue Aldwell, left, and Andrea Dudley-Owen, with Bob Murray behind. (29620179)
Education members Sue Aldwell, left, and Andrea Dudley-Owen, with Bob Murray behind. (29620179)

She was responding to a raft of concerns from teaching unions about the committee’s policy letter for three 11-16 schools and a co-located sixth form and Guernsey Institute.

The committee has faced criticism for a lack of detail in the letter, which is set to be debated by the States.

Worries about the lack of detail around teachers’ job transfers and salaries were raised by National Education Union and the NASUWT.

Deputy Dudley-Owen said the committee did not agree with the unions’ assertion that all the detail for staffing transition and structure should have been prepared at this stage of the process.

‘We have to take a holistic view of the matter and doing as the unions suggest would have required the committee, Policy & Resources and officers supporting both committees to develop that complex detail – and staffing is a complex piece of work – in isolation,’ she said.

‘It would have also taken a significant amount of resources, which of course could have been wasting taxpayer money if the States then decided against supporting our model.’

She said it was important to have to demonstrate viability of the plan, but they had not gone further.

‘Developing detailed staffing structures by this stage would have required us to tell staff what was “being done to them” as opposed to consulting with staff about their future roles and “doing it with them”,’ she said.

‘We are committed to doing the latter, something which we had hoped union colleagues would welcome on behalf of their members.

‘We have been working and will continue to work with union representatives on this crucial part of the transition to the new model.

‘We have shared a draft timeline with them which clearly outlines key milestones and processes required to provide staff with clarity, and we want to provide reassurance about the robust and clear process that will be undertaken.

‘While we completely understand the anxiety that some staff will feel, it is simply not possible to have this level of detail for them at this stage, not unless we disregard any notion of working collaboratively with those staff on that detail, which is simply something we are not prepared to do.’

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