Friday 17 January 2020
Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, has issued a statement on the likely requête seeking a delay the reforms of secondary and post-16 education.
"It sounds as if the requête will be a delaying motion. The same thing was proposed by the same deputies last year. It was rightly defeated in the States by a 2 to 1 majority and today the case for delay is even weaker than it was then. They pretend there can be delay with no consequences. This is a myth because we are already two years into a five to six-year transition model and ripping it up now would have significant negative consequences for students. Delaying this model now without offering any alternative model is not a solution. It is irresponsible to keep suggesting it again and again and each time it is suggested the costs and consequences become worse.
"The proposal being put forward by Deputy Meerveld, Deputy Dudley-Owen and Deputy Prow would inevitably lead at the very least to months, but probably years, of further debate with no prospect of agreement suddenly breaking out about how to organise secondary education. Students would be stuck for more years in a model of four small schools with vast inequality of opportunity and in some cases very poor facilities and if there is any consensus about anything it is that this is unsatisfactory in educational terms and much more expensive to operate.
"Deputy Dudley-Owen, Deputy Meerveld and Deputy Prow are opposed to two 11-18 colleges and clearly they are not going to change their minds. After nearly five years of debate on these matters they should be able to propose their own preferred model, but of course the only model they have ever put forward was roundly rejected, not least because their post-16 proposals were a dog's breakfast and completely unworkable. They are now saying delay because they want to attract the support of anyone who would prefer a different model, including selection at 11, non-selection and different variations of four schools, three schools and two schools on different sites, but they will never be able to agree among themselves on any one single model.
"If they were able to agree on any one single model they would be proposing it, but of course it would then be apparent that lots of people would not want that model either. It's easy for any deputy to say what they don't want, but after nearly five years of debate we have a responsibility to do more than identify what we don't want. The model of two 11-18 colleges which is now being introduced is the best available model for educational and financial reasons. It is not without its challenges, but no model is going to be found which is desirable to everyone and it would be irresponsible to leave schools and students in limbo while the States spend more years casting around for another model and doing nothing more than merely agreeing on what they don't want."