'Do minimum' is the first step to do better

‘DO MINIMUM’ – not exactly the most aspirational approach when resolving the future for Guernsey’s children.

But if the proposals for a reform of secondary and post-16 schooling from the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture fail this week, that is probably what this community will inherit following the end of selection.

Supporting ESC ‘rebel’ Deputy Andy Cameron's amendment, or a complete rejection of all options, now look the only credible options left for deputies, unless they do cling to the original policy letter, which may well happen, despite widespread teacher opposition.

Much has been made of the divisions within this new States – said to split around 24-16, broadly set along party and ideological lines – although some deputies do not expect it will be faithfully followed this week. Too many linked to this 'coalition', even if not formal members, have much to lose in other arguments ahead.

In coming out – again – against the ESC proposals, teachers have been placed under significant pressure to say what they do want for their pupils’, and our children’s, future. Their response is best summed up as ‘get us involved from day one’.

With the current ESC proposals looking all the more like a political solution to an overwhelming problem, ‘bare minimum’ seems to placate all by retaining the current position while also inviting the committee – or perhaps a successor – to start again. But from bottom-up rather than the current top-down position.

With no resolution, a discussion on the future of education is back on the table. The Cameron amendment could see money, resources, time and thought put into the future of 11-16 education. And change is still possible.

There will be entrenched opinions in play, apparently even including deputies now ‘bored’ with the never-ending debate, but it seems that the proposal can be boiled down to spending more than necessary on buildings for a sixth form centre, while adding little to the mandatory 11-16 sector.

That doesn’t feel right, and the Assembly needs to find the courage this week to respond accordingly.

Most Read

Top Stories

More From The Guernsey Press

UK & International News