Two-thirds of teachers oppose secondary plans

A MAJORITY of teachers are against Education, Sport & Culture’s plans for the future of secondary education, a survey has revealed.

Picture By Steve Sarre 29-12-17.Four School montage Education story. (29747680)
Picture By Steve Sarre 29-12-17.Four School montage Education story. (29747680)

Three-quarters of the island’s States secondary teachers responded, of which 87% said they were opposed, meaning that 65% have come out against the plans.

Teaching unions have also

added their voice to the objections, sending an open letter to all deputies asking them to

consider the impact of the proposed changes and saying that more work should have been done with teaching staff during the process.

ESC president Andrea Dudley-Owen said that the committee was continuing to engage with staff.

Organised by teachers at the four secondary schools, the survey found only 9% of those teachers who replied supported ESC while 4% were undecided.

When the responses of non-teaching staff were included, the total was 86% against.

When broken down by school, La Mare de Carteret saw the most opposition with all staff against, while St Sampson’s returned the least support among all staff, at only 56%, with 61% of teachers not backing the plans.

Out of a total of 311 staff invited to participate in the survey, only 20 voted in support.

Speaking on behalf of the survey organisers, teacher Sarah Buck said that as States’ employees, teachers were often uncomfortable about expressing their views publicly on this issue.

‘However, it has been clear for some time that the profession has very serious concerns about the committee’s proposals – to the extent that we do not know how the proposals will work in practice,’ she said.

Echoing the concerns expressed by the unions in their open letter, she said it was not clear how the plans would improve the educational outcomes or well-being of Guernsey’s students.

There were fewer than one in 10 teachers who supported the plans.

‘This is an extremely high level of opposition across all staff – perhaps unprecedented – and we trust that States’ members will reflect on this very seriously ahead of next week’s debate.’

Teachers were invited to give comments as part of the survey and among the issues raised were the lack of information about the committee’s proposals, lack of transparency and the impact on education.

‘I feel anxious and frustrated in equal measure that concerns are not being listened to or addressed,’ one respondent said.

Sean McManus, a long-term representative of local teachers, said students needed a decision to be made that would provide the widest opportunities and secure the best educational outcomes in the years ahead: ‘The survey results indicate that staff lack confidence in ESC’s proposals being able to deliver such outcomes.

‘Deputies wishing to make an informed decision, one motivated by educational objectives and value for money concerns, may well share the view that a better solution is possible for the future of secondary education in Guernsey.’

In saying the committee did not think it was helpful or appropriate to comment to the Press, Deputy Dudley-Owen said the committee believed in continued direct engagement with the staff and an extensive programme was ongoing.

‘For example, members of the programme team have been attending each secondary school this week, the committee attended one of the schools yesterday[Wednesday] to speak to staff who asked us to visit and continue to engage.’

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News