‘States has created more uncertainty for teachers’
A TEACHERS' union has said that the States rejecting £26m. to maintain and improve schools has only created more uncertainty for teachers.
The NASUWT said that last week's decision was letting down future generations.
‘This latest development creates yet more uncertainty for teachers, pupils and parents at a time when the education system is a desperate need of investment,’ said NASUWT national negotiating official for Guernsey Wayne Bates.
‘Pupils and staff are being asked to continue learning and working in overcrowded, dilapidated buildings which are undermining their safety, morale and the quality of learning that can be provided.’
In last week’s States meeting, a proposal to allocate up to £26m. to maintain and improve existing education facilities was rejected.
The 14 deputies who voted for the motion were met with 23 voting against. Two did not vote.
There was wide acceptance that Education, Sport & Culture would need to spend some money on school and college buildings over the next few years, following the de-funding of its £130m. re-organisation plan for secondary and further education.
But many members criticised Policy & Resources member and former ESC vice-president Bob Murray for asking for approval of such a large sum of expenditure through a late budget amendment.
‘The idea that schools and colleges can continue to provide the best educational experiences to pupils without further funding is absurd and wholly unrealistic,’ said Mr Bates.
‘The States urgently needs to get a grip of this situation because at present it is seriously letting down its children, young people and the education workforce.’
Damage was caused to local schools during Storm Ciaran at the beginning of November, adding to the building costs of maintenance and improvements which need to be made.
The majority of damage to the school was said to be minor damage to roof slates and gutters.
‘Half of the St Sampson’s High sports hall is out of use because of damage due to water ingress. No areas in any of the other schools are out of use,’ said Steve Willcocks from the States Property Unit.
He said that repairs at La Hougette Primary, Castel Primary, Les Voies, Hautes Capelles, Les Varendes High, and St Sampson’s High had been prioritised.
'Work will be completed as the soon as contractors and equipment can be sourced.’
The NEU did not respond to an approach for comment.