ESC has no timeline for La Mare Primary redevelopment

EDUCATION has no idea when La Mare de Carteret Primary School will be redeveloped.

Education president Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32145085)
Education president Andrea Dudley-Owen. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 32145085)

The school was opened nearly 50 years ago with a lifespan of 25 years and successive committees have admitted that its buildings are no longer fit for purpose.

But Education, Sport & Culture president Andrea Dudley-Owen said that a decision about the school’s future must await a review of primary education which is being left for a future States Assembly.

‘The States has resolved that the primary review will not take place this term. The timing of the review will be considered by the next committee following the general election in 2025.

‘A decision on the La Mare de Carteret Primary redevelopment cannot be finalised until after that review has been completed,’ said Deputy Dudley-Owen.

In response to a question about the cost of maintaining La Mare in its current condition, the States’ property unit said its pay and non-pay budget was about £250,000 a year for the hard and soft facilities at the school.

‘It has been identified by successive Education committees that the school’s facilities are not at the standard we would wish,’ said Deputy Dudley-Owen.

‘Investment has been made to improve the building, but this is acknowledged as being a temporary rather than permanent solution.’

The States was first asked to redevelop La Mare primary nearly 10 years ago.

At that time the Education Department said the school had ‘high energy costs, increasing maintenance costs [and] classrooms are generally too small and facilities outdated...basically, they are no longer fit for purpose’.

In 2019 deputies agreed a budget to redevelop the school over a two-year period from 2022, subject to Education having carried out the wider primary review which has now been delayed indefinitely.

Deputy Peter Roffey recently appealed to Education to bring forward its review after it was revealed that three primary schools would cut their number of reception classes from September, following the same move at another school last year, in response to falling rolls.

‘I am conscious of recent political commentary from some members, including an article written by Deputy Roffey in the Guernsey Press, and I am intending to write my own so that the community receives a more rounded explanation of the circumstances surrounding the timing of the primary review,’ said Deputy Dudley-Owen yesterday.

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