Guernsey Press

‘La Mare High’s quality to be maintained until very last day’ - Hynes

DIRECTOR of education Nick Hynes has assured parents and students that the quality of La Mare de Carteret High School will be maintained until its very last day.

La Mare de Carteret High School. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 32486528)

The school is set to close in the summer of 2025, with students transferring to Les Varendes, as part of the Education committee’s plan to reorganise secondary education into three 11-16 schools and a separate sixth form college.

Mr Hynes said the committee was preparing thoroughly to manage the closure of La Mare, including drawing on the experience of previous school closures.

‘When we put the transforming education programme in place, there was a look back to lessons learned of what happened before when previous transformations happened, particularly around the St Peter Port closure,’ said Mr Hynes.

‘One of the areas we’ve wanted to ensure we maintained was the quality of subject-specific teachers up until the point of closure.

‘So even though we’re not welcoming year seven into La Mare this year, that doesn’t mean to say that any excess teachers will necessarily be moving on.

‘There will be some that we don’t need because we’ll have a lower cohort, but the subject specialists will be available for all of those subject areas as well as we can manage.’

Mr Hynes said that Education’s planning for the next two years at La Mare was also being informed by comments made in an inspection report of the school several years ago.

‘One of the criticisms was that there were too many teachers teaching across four or five subjects.

‘That doesn’t happen any more and I completely agree that’s something we need to guard against and ensure it doesn’t happen.

‘We have a duty to all of those children and people who remain at La Mare until they transition either out of the school at Year 11 or they transition to Les Varendes.’

Education’s reorganisation plan is expected to face another hurdle in the States Assembly next month when deputies are likely to be asked whether they want to include it on a reduced list of capital projects to progress this term, potentially funded through borrowing or a new goods and services tax.

The Policy & Resources Committee revealed earlier this year that the estimated cost of a new centre for sixth form and further education studies at Les Ozouets and its transformation plan, including digital improvements, had climbed to £128m., up from an estimated £101m. last year.

n A full-length interview with Mr Hynes is available now on the Guernsey Press Politics Podcast.