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ESC says its plans for a post-16 campus could be a cultural game-changer

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Wednesday 09 June 2021

The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture's plans for a post-16 campus, with a sixth form centre and The Guernsey Institute co-located on the same site, will help the island take the first important step towards changing an outdated and divisive culture that has existed for decades around students' post-16 study choices.

The Committee has said it is an uncomfortable truth that some within our community seem to place a higher value on academic qualifications than on technical, professional and vocational qualifications. This thinking is not only out-dated but also does a huge disservice to staff and students and, given the value that the islands derive from the skills-based workforce across all sectors, just simply isn't logical.

A new bespoke post-16 campus created at Les Ozouets will act as a centre of ambition and aspiration for all learners progressing from the three 11-16 schools. Students will be able to graduate to the campus, irrespective of their learning pathway, to join a mature, adult learning environment which will prepare them for their next steps into education or the world of work.

The co-location of the sixth form centre and The Guernsey Institute will provide opportunities for young people to access shared extracurricular and enrichment activities, enable combined programmes of study across technical, professional, vocational and academic pathways to be delivered more easily and allow for a joined-up approach to employer engagement for all post-16 learners.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:

'As we have said before, the Committee is incredibly excited about the potential of a post-16 campus as part of our plans. This really could a be a cultural game-changer for our islands. I know some don't agree or simply don't want to hear it, but for far too long the pathways students choose for their post-16 studies have been considered reflective of their ability or future potential. The reality is that no society can function without a workforce with a rich blend of skills and knowledge. Our Committee, with the community's support, want to take that vital first step towards changing that culture and ensuring all students, and all career pathways, enjoy the same level of esteem.

'We don't know what the future holds in terms of the types of jobs that will be around in years to come, nor the blend of skills and qualifications employers might need in the future.  By creating a single campus that caters for the educational needs of all our post-16 and adult learners, we're looking to future-proof the system and create something truly special for our islands.

'For many years discussion on the future of Secondary education has hinged on plans for the sixth form. We considered co-locating the sixth form centre with an 11-16 school, but we ruled this out because it never conclusively overcomes the perception that students attending that Secondary school  have a different educational offer to their peers, which some perceive as better, and it has the strong potential to create an environment which effectively morphs into an 11-18 school over time due to the proximity of the co-located sixth form. The Committee does not believe this is a fair approach to education in our small community and believes that all 16 years should be together on a single campus, all benefiting equally from the broadest educational, training and enrichment opportunities that we can offer them.

'The creation of a post-16 campus, where a sixth form centre and The Guernsey Institute can maximise operational synergies whilst remaining separate organisations, recognises the vital role that post-16 education plays in building the  knowledge, skills and experience of our young adults, and instilling a life-long passion for learning and continual development, which Guernsey's economic recovery and long-term prosperity relies upon.'

The Committee's policy letter on the future of Secondary and post-16 education can be read at: Secondary and Post 16 Education Reorganisation - States of Guernsey (gov.gg)

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