Tuesday 02 January 2018
The Committee for Education Sport & Culture has provided further clarity on the appointment of architects to carry out the feasibility of the four secondary schools sites for potential use as two 1300 or 1450 pupil 11-18 schools.
'The decision to contract with the UK architects Design Engine to assess the suitability of 4 sites for a two school-model was taken at a meeting on 9th October, at which Deputies Fallaize, Tooley and Dorey were present,' said Committee President, Deputy Paul Le Pelley.
'Time was of the essence and the meeting agreed to commission existing consultants who had already competitively tendered for work at La Mare de Carteret, and also had base data for two of the sites. This was, and remains, a sensible decision, which produced the feasibility studies issued to the four deputies to inform their two-school model.
'The earlier, separate report on Les Varendes by local architects was undertaken to satisfy one of the resolutions from the March 2016 debate. One of the options that needed to be considered was maintaining 11-19 education, i.e. including a sixth form, at Les Varendes and ceasing 11 to 16 education at La Mare de Carteret. This was never the Committee's preferred option, but it had to be addressed because of the States resolution and is therefore addressed in the Policy Letter.
'The brief to the local architects was not the same as that given to Design Engine. The scenarios and questions were quite different.
'We don't understand why the four Deputies have made so much of this in their alternative proposal. And we don't like the innuendo and suggestion of material being withheld because that's simply not true,' said Deputy Le Pelley.
'The four Deputies approached the local architects direct to ask for a copy of the report. Quite rightly, as this report was commissioned by the Committee, it was not for the architects to agree to release it to a third party. The request had to be made to the Committee. A copy of the report was provided within 24 hours of it being requested.
'Sadly, this is just one example of how the Alternative Model report has twisted the truth, in what appears to be an attempt to undermine the Committee's well-researched, well-evidenced and fully costed recommendations.
'We will be commenting in more detail on the Alternative Model over the next few days. But we can see straight away that it does not stack up. It does not provide equality of opportunity for all our learners. It will restrict the viable provision of curriculum, qualifications and choice in each of the two small sixth forms. We still don't know which two schools will close, when they will close, how much all of this is going to cost nor even what our parents think of it.
'The Committee will be appealing to States members to see through this. We will be asking them to reject the Alternative Model and support our recommendations which really do offer the best for all our children and young people.'