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Executive Headteacher and Director of Education appointed

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Thursday 07 June 2018

Two highly experienced educationalists have been appointed to crucial roles as the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture continues developing the new structure of secondary and post-16 education agreed by the States in January.

Liz Coffey, the current Headteacher of the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre, has been appointed as Executive Headteacher of the new 11-18 secondary school, which will operate in two colleges. Mrs Coffey has over 25 years' experience of education, previously led an Outstanding all ability 11-18 school and was designated as a National Leader in Education.

Mrs Coffey will play a key role in planning the two 11-18 colleges and advising the Committee on the development of the new structure for secondary and post-16 education. She will immediately work closely with the existing secondary schools as part of the Committee's commitment to make the transition from four schools to one school over two colleges a collaborative process. Mrs Coffey will gradually assume her new duties as Executive Headteacher while continuing as Headteacher of the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre until the end of the academic year. An announcement will be made about the future leadership of the Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre before the summer holidays.

Separately, a former primary and secondary school Headteacher has been appointed as Director of Education.

Andrew Warren is a well-known and respected educationalist with considerable experience across all phases of education in Guernsey and England. He was previously Headteacher at Forest and La Houguette Primary Schools and Blanchelande College. He was also previously an Assistant Director at the Education Office. Most recently he was a non-voting member of the Committee - a role from which he has stepped down.

Initially, Mr Warren considered that his role as a non-voting member of the Committee would prevent his applying for the position of Director of Education. He was also a non-voting educational advisor on the recruitment panel. However, when the original recruitment process resulted in the panel making no appointment, the Committee approached Mr Warren to ask if he would reconsider and assume the role on a contract basis.

Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:

'These two appointments are of critical importance to the Committee's extensive agenda of reform. Liz is an experienced and highly-regarded Headteacher in the 11-18 sector. She will work very closely with the Committee as we plan for the new model of secondary and post-16 education based on two 11-18 colleges operating as one school. Once the structural reforms are complete, Liz will lead the secondary school structure.

'In the early days of her role one of Liz's tasks will be to start putting in place the staffing structure for the 11-18 colleges, which will help provide greater certainty for school leaders and teachers.

'After a recruitment process for the Director of Education resulted in no appointment being made, the Committee approached Andrew as we felt his extensive experience of leadership roles in both primary and secondary education made him the ideal candidate. Indeed it is difficult to think of anyone who has a broader range of experience relevant to this role.

'While it is unusual for someone to move from being a non-voting member of a Committee into a role as a senior officer, the Committee is determined always to act in the best interests of students and the education service generally and bringing in Andrew as Director is undoubtedly the right thing to do at this time of immense change. Andrew's expertise will be invaluable and we were pleased that his appointment was supported by the Policy & Resources Committee, which in law is responsible for appointing the Director of Education.'

Mrs Coffey said:

'These are challenging yet incredibly exciting times in education locally and I am thrilled to have been appointed as the new Executive Headteacher. I look forward to working with the Committee, students, colleagues, parents and the community, to lead on the reforms, developing the new structure for secondary education, providing opportunity and excellence for all.'

Mr Warren said:

'While much of the recent focus has understandably been on the reforms of secondary and post-16 education, I am conscious of the many other areas of education where significant focus is needed. The Director of Education is responsible for leading across the whole field of education, from early years through to higher education, and I am very much looking forward to using the experience I have gained across the primary and secondary phases to provide educational leadership.'

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