A meeting between head teachers and senior members of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture focused on the collective commitment of all to work together to deliver a model of secondary and post-16 education that best serves the Bailiwick's children.
Committee President Matt Fallaize and Vice President Richard Graham, joined by Chief Secretary Gus Paterson, met with primary, secondary and special needs schools head teachers, along with the Principal of the College of Further Education, to have an open round-table discussion about the upcoming reforms.
Deputy Fallaize said it was a very productive meeting.
'From the Committee's perspective, this meeting was really about starting as we mean to go on and we were very grateful so many kindly made themselves available to attend. We are committed to working with school leaders; the collective educational experience in the room means we would be foolish not to. I was delighted with the nature of the discussion. There was absolute understanding and agreement by all of the importance of clear communications with all teachers, staff, students, parents and the wider community and the need to restore some confidence, given the uncertainty understandably caused as a result of the States debate.
'We have a good standard of education and the reforms recently agreed by the States are driven by a determination to raise standards further as well as extending opportunities to all students. The Committee and its officers are working towards identifying the two sites for the new 11-18 model of education and the transitional arrangements for students and staff. We sought to reassure head teachers on these points.'
Following the meeting head teachers agreed to update their staff on discussions and the Committee will be sending a message to all staff this week. A letter will then be going to parents of all primary, secondary and post-16 students next week. Plans are also being developed to engage directly with students after the Easter holidays.
Deputy Graham said the Committee is determined to 'get this right'.
'We wanted to assure head teachers that the Committee means business and I hope we managed to do so.
'In addition to the discussion on the future model of secondary and post-16 education, the meeting also touched on a number of areas where head teachers had some long-term concerns. Recruitment was one such issue and communications staff will be working with head teachers to develop a new marketing plan in the coming months.'