Guernsey Press

‘The work we’re most proud of is the Education Strategy’

Two years after the 2020 General Elections, the main States committees have been sharing with the Guernsey Press what they think they have achieved and what their priorities are before the next election in summer 2025. The series continues with Education, Sport & Culture

Education, Sport & Culture vice-president Deputy Bob Murray and the committee’s president Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31351639)

OUR committee has spent much of the first two years of this term focusing on much needed and lasting change in education to improve outcomes for all children, young people and adult learners.

The Assembly approving our plans for the reorganisation of secondary and post-16 education, recognising the need for a bespoke model fit for our local context after so many years of uncertainty, was a seminal moment. A flagship of those plans is the creation of the Post-16 campus, which received planning permission this summer with construction work due to begin shortly.

In seeking to create an education system fit for 21st Century, we have shifted focus to the quality of education in our schools. We have welcomed Ofsted as our external inspectors so that we know, and the community knows, objectively how our schools are performing. We will celebrate and learn from the good and provide support and focus where performance is weaker.

We need to hold all leaders more closely to account for the outcomes of all their learners and right now, the Committee is having those conversations with our settings leaders via our role as governors. No committee before us has taken such a detailed approach to governance and this is a steppingstone to a new governance model under the new education law, final proposals for which will come to the Assembly in 2023 after public consultation.

We took great pride in the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, which took place this year in proximity to Liberation Day. But we’d also like to express gratitude to all those staff from across the States and volunteers alike from the wider community, who helped organised events to mark her Majesty’s death and the proclamation of King Charles III.

We’re thrilled by the launch of the Guernsey Language Commission with Sir Richard Collas as its chair and look forward to seeing its work to preserve and generate interest in Guernesiais.

The work we’re most proud of is the Education Strategy.

To say it’s just a page of words is just plain wrong. This strategy is an unequivocal statement of intent. It tells the community our education priorities and the commitments we have made to deliver them. It gives everyone working in education a common language and a shared goal. No policy decision and no operational action goes ahead unless it aligns with the strategy.

It guides where we deploy our people and how we spend taxpayers’ money to improve education outcomes for all learners. It tells parents and carers what our ambition is, and what they can hold us to account for. This is a game-changer and our committee is proud to sit behind it.

And what’s next?

A final funding request to P&R for the digital roadmap for education: better digital connectivity in every school, embedding digital teaching and learning to equip our students for the changing world of work. Actioning more of the SEND Review recommendations. Partnership working with the Island Games organising committee; with the Arts Commission on the emerging Plan for Art; with the Sports Commission on the next steps of the Plan for Sport, hosting of a prestigious Renoir Exhibition in 2023 – there’s no time to stand still.