Education will forget to listen to the experts

SO, THE dust has now settled on the election and the placement of deputies in the committees. I will not dwell on the exclusion of Gavin St Pier from all of the committees. Having read his letter to the Guernsey Press it would seem he was only interested in two roles, chief minister or, failing that, head of STSB, but a party or parties that are not parties conspired against him. He will now hold the States of Deliberation to account, but will have to be careful not to be labelled as Mr Negative. You can be sure he will be blamed for everything that doesn’t get done.

I have been polishing my crystal ball and looking to see what will now happen with secondary education in Guernsey – and here is my prediction:

Andrea Dudley-Owen, who is now head of education, is in favour of selection, as are a number of deputies in senior roles. Most deputies’ manifestos said they would support a three-school model. So, retain the Grammar School with selective entry, and move La Mare students to either Beaucamps or St Sampson’s High. Voila, we have a three-school model. Never mind that selective education does not provide equality of opportunity, nor that the majority of teaching professionals who work outside the Grammar School are against selection. I predict that the new Education committee will forget that they should listen to the experts.

I sincerely hope that my prediction does not come true, but in case it is proposed, I suggest you lobby your local deputies.

Oh, I forgot, but with island wide voting, you no longer have a deputy to represent you in the States.

MARTIN BEST,

Palm Lodge,

Grandes Mielles Lane,

Vale.

Editor’s footnote: Deputy Dudley-Owen, president of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, replies:

I am naturally a polite person who is inclined with a generous spirit, I am unreservedly happy to engage with members of the public who are able to make themselves known to me and are capable of mature conversation without having to resort to making things up. On this occasion however, I will give this note the short shrift it deserves. The commentator has not made any effort to engage with me on this matter, making spurious statements and ill-informed predictions. I would urge readers to disregard them in the same way I have. My position is that the door on selection at 11 is shut and I intend to keep it that way.

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