Following a proposal laid by Deputies Matt Fallaize, Richard Graham, Rhian Tooley and Mark Dorey, the States agreed at its January 2018 meeting to substantial reforms of secondary and post-16 education. The following bullet points summarise the future structure:
- The four existing secondary schools (three 11 to 16 schools and one 11 to 18 school) will close and they will be replaced by two 11 to 18 colleges, both of which will have sixth forms, and the two colleges will be part of one organisation (one school);
- Full-time and part-time technical, professional and vocational studies, including apprenticeships, will be delivered in a single organisation with the objective of integrating the College of Further Education, the Institute of Health and Social Care Studies and the GTA University Centre as soon as practicable, ultimately with the aim of partnering with a UK university to create University College Guernsey;
- St Anne's School will continue to provide secondary education in Alderney and Le Murier School and Les Voies School will continue to provide for students with special educational needs.
At present our secondary schools vary greatly in size. In contrast, the two 11 to 18 colleges will be of a very similar size with a very similar number of students in each college. The number of students in each college will be in line with the average size of the highest-attaining comprehensive schools nationally, almost all of which also have sixth forms. All students will have the widest possible range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities and teachers in Guernsey will be able to work across all key stages in secondary education, which will maximise the chances of developing, recruiting and retaining great teachers.
The post-16 phase will provide a single sixth form operating across the two colleges, allowing for a broad range of subject choices. Technical, professional and vocational studies will be part of a single, integrated organisation.
Where will the two 11 to 18 colleges be located?
- The two 11 to 18 colleges will be based at Baubigny in St Sampson's and Les Beaucamps.
- Both of these sites have several advantages:
- They are conveniently located for their partner primary schools;
- The existing facilities are built to modern design standards and have a long-term lifespan;
- There are good opportunities for the necessary extensions to be built;
- They can continue to operate as schools during the construction period;
- The school at Baubigny was opened in 2008 and was built at a cost of £43.5m and the school at Les Beaucamps was opened in 2012 and was built at a cost of £37m.
- The Committee considers that these two sites are clearly the best locations for the two 11 to 18 colleges. All of the site options have been researched and the Committee has taken an objective view based on the practicalities of each site. The two sites which the Committee wish to use present a cost-effective option. Other site options would be more expensive and/or create too much disruption for students. Using the sites which currently have the highest standard of facilities - mostly because they have been built more recently - removes the need to build a completely new school at La Mare de Carteret and to carry out extensive refurbishment of the Les Varendes site, which is nearly 35 years old and which would have required students there to move to another site during refurbishment before being moved back.
How will we move from the current schools to the two 11 to 18 colleges?
- The two 11 to 18 colleges, operating as one school, will largely be in place by September 2022 and will be fully operational by September 2023 with facilities that meet the highest educational standards. From September 2021 all students entering Year 7 (current Year 4 and below) will do so at the St Sampson's or Les Beaucamps sites and will not need to move during their remaining years in compulsory education.The tables below set out where students who are currently in primary or secondary schools will be educated throughout their years in secondary school.
- The transition plan was developed following consultation with educationalists. It means that even during the transition period very nearly 90% of students will complete their compulsory education on the same site which they joined for Year 7. There will be no more than one additional move for any student. No student will move between Years 7 and 8, having of course moved to start secondary school between Years 6 and 7. In addition, a much larger percentage of students will be able to remain on their site for post-16 studies compared to around 20% at present and 0% under the "three school model" considered by the States previously. The transitional period to establish the new "two college model" will last no longer than the transitional periods would have lasted in other models previously proposed and rejected by the present States.
- When the Committee was elected earlier this year it inherited a commitment made to parents of students in the selective year groups at the Grammar School that throughout Years 7 to 11 they would continue to receive a Grammar School education. This transition model maintains this commitment: it provides for those students to remain in 'selective' year groups at their current site. This means that for the academic year 2022/23 the school at Les Varendes will accommodate students in Years 11 and 13.
- However, the Committee is conscious that some of those parents may prefer their child/ren to complete their education in one of the two new 11 to 18 colleges, which the transition model allows for if it is their wish, and therefore in the years ahead the Committee will maintain dialogue with those parents to establish their wishes well in advance.
- From September 2019, the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture will operate a partner school system for Year 7 secondary admissions, instead of allocation by catchment area.
- Parents and carers are able to apply for their child to attend a different secondary school site from the one that is partnered with their primary school, if they can demonstrate that it would be unreasonably detrimental to their child's education to attend the identified site. Further information can be found at www.gov.gg/partnerschools.
Uniforms and school & college names
- At some point during the transitional period it will be necessary for some changes to be made to school uniforms to reflect that we are moving to one school in two 11 to 18 colleges. This is one of a number of issues where our work includes taking into account the views of the Yourh Shadow Committee (made up of students in our secondary schools), which we established earlier this year. Further information about uniforms will be made available as soon as possible.
- It is important to emphasise that the three current 11 to 16 school and the one 11 to 18 school will close and the two new 11 to 18 colleges (operating as one school) will open in their place. The names of the new 11 to 18 colleges will not be known by their locations, i.e. St Sampson's and Les Beaucamps. We will consult with the community before determinig the names of the new school and colleges. Further information about this consultation process will be announced in the near future.