A new purpose-built facility could house an integrated College of Further Education, the Institute of Health & Social Care Studies and the GTA University Centre, under proposals being developed by the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.
The proposal, which is at an early stage and would ultimately require States approval, is one of a number recently agreed by the Committee following recommendations from the working group tasked with drawing up proposals for the full integration of the three organisations.
The Committee formed the group in May to progress one of the resolutions agreed by the States Assembly in January as part of the debate on the future of secondary and post-16 education.
Professor Richard Conder, non-voting member of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture chairs the group, with the Principal of the College of FE, the Head of the Institute and Chief Executive of the GTA its other members.
The working group reported back to the Committee on its findings. Its recommendations, which have been agreed by the Committee, include:
- In the short term, each of the three organisations subject to integration should have their own form of governance and should continue to operate independently. However, there should be an expectation during this period that the governing bodies will come together in a loose federation to consider and plan for the future structure of the institution, post integration.
- Post integration the organisation should comprise faculties broadly mirroring the existing mandates of the three independent institutions.
- The three institutions should be integrated by no later than December 2019.
- Plans for a new, purpose-built facility to house the new integrated institution will be prepared and States support sought to commence such a project alongside plans for the reformed secondary estate.
Professor Conder said:
'Working alongside the leaders of the three organisations has been incredibly productive, as we have explored the potentially wide-ranging benefits of integration while discussing how to ensure we retain the best of each organisation and their unique relationship with their client groups.
'Direction received from the States following the debate in January on the future of secondary and post-16 education set a clear objective for integration. If we are to achieve the many benefits possible, one of the key priorities is the building of a dedicated site for the new institution. While subject to States approval, our position is that our ambitions for the institution will not be realised until such time as the building is completed.
'I was delighted the Committee supported the findings of our initial work, but there is much more to do before these significant and beneficial changes can be realised. This includes consulting in due course with a diverse range of stakeholders.'
Louise Misselke, Principal of the College of Further Education, said:
'It is a really exciting time for technical, professional, vocational and higher education in the Bailiwick. The work of Integrated Working Group offers the three organisations a clear path to continue to develop our provision to meet the demands and needs of our students and our community. This is perfect timing for the GCFE, and the team and I are looking forward to working together in the next phase.'
Simon Le Tocq, Chief Executive of the GTA University Centre, said:
'The GTA University Centre has 21 years' experience of delivering high quality professional and higher education to Guernsey's workforce. Through the Integrated Working Group we welcome the opportunity to explore ways of closer working with the Institute of Health and Social Care Studies and the College of FE to enhance post-16 provision, whilst at the same time seeking to ensure that the very best attributes of the GTA are retained for the benefit of the island.'
Dr Tracey McClean, Head of the Institute of Health and Social Care Studies, said:
'The team at the Institute have a wealth of experience in developing and delivering Vocational and Higher Education programmes to Masters level. We see the work of the IWG as an opportunity to share this experience across other sectors beyond Health and Social Care for the benefit of the island community.'