Wednesday 14 August 2019
The Education Transformation Programme, including the 11-18 school model and the new Guernsey Institute, will bring substantial benefits to students throughout their secondary education and in the sixth form and further education phase.
In the current model students choosing to study vocational, technical or professional qualifications at the College of Further Education (now part of The Guernsey Institute) are split between three campuses, which have been described as having "among the worst facilities seen in the further education sector" by external space consultants Peter Marsh Consulting. The new model will provide these students and staff with bespoke, high quality facilities, and allow other wide-ranging benefits that come from being on a single campus with a larger number of students and staff: including encouraging a more vibrant culture with improved access to enrichment provision and avoiding wasted travel time for both staff and students.
Currently, well over half of the students attending the Sixth Form Centre have to transfer from other schools in order to study A Level or IB qualifications. In the future model, the vast majority of students choosing these courses will be able to stay on in the same college. Current modelling indicates numbers on each sixth form site of between 220 and 260: in line with or slightly larger than the average size of sixth forms in England. The proposed model could accommodate substantial shifts in numbers without a need to increase costs or compromise provision.
The new school will offer A Levels (on both sites) and the IB Diploma Programme (on one site). The Committee intends to provide at least the same number of options as are currently available and will also introduce the IB Career-related Programme (IBCP) in conjunction with The Guernsey Institute.
Louise Misselke, Principal of the College of Further Education, said:
"The IB Career-related programme is a brilliant addition to the sixth form and further education offer in Guernsey, and we are pleased that the Committee has been supportive of this move. This programme will increase the range of possibilities open to students at 16, and allow them, if they wish, to combine a vocational, technical or professional qualification studied at The Guernsey Institute with relevant IB courses studied at one of the 11-18 Colleges. Following positive initial conversations with industry representatives, initially this programme will be launched with a Finance pathway, and other options will be explored in due course. Students following this programme will achieve a recognised and well-respected qualification which place them in a strong position to go on to University or employment."
The financial and staffing models used in the Committee's policy letter include the need for some additional classes at sixth form level to ensure a broad curriculum can be maintained across both colleges. However, because the new model is more efficient at Key Stage 3 and 4, the overall secondary system will be more efficient to run even with the additional resources necessary at sixth form level. This means the benefits to students can be maximised within the budget allocated by the States to Education.
The Committee is also exploring ways to use technology effectively to maximise the opportunities available to students. For example, immersive classroom technology may mean lessons can be run across sites, between the two colleges, The Guernsey Institute and potentially St Anne's School in Alderney, as well as introducing the potential to collaborate with other institutions. This could allow increased flexibility and enable a wider range of possible combinations of courses.
As well as the benefits to students once they reach the sixth form and further education phase, the new 11-18 model will bring substantial benefits to students while they are in the 11-16 phase:
Liz Coffey, Executive Head Teacher of Secondary Schools said:
"The benefits of being in an 11-18 school do not just apply to those choosing to stay on to the sixth form. Younger students benefit from the presence of sixth form students on the site. For example, sixth form students can make a considerable contribution to the life of the school, including running enrichment activities and supporting younger students. All students benefit when staff teams are able to take a long-term view to curriculum planning, factoring in sixth form and further education provision. 11-18 schools are often able to recruit from a wider pool as those who want to teach across the full secondary age range are not precluded from applying. This can make recruitment processes more competitive and ultimately lead to improvements in teaching and learning which benefit all students."