Monday 10 February 2020
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture is seeking public comments on long-awaited reforms to the outdated Education Law.
When the Committee was elected in 2018, it identified the development of a new Law as one of its key objectives. The Committee is on course to submit a Policy Letter to the States before the end of this term, in which it will propose detailed recommendations about the new Law. If they are approved by the States, the new primary legislation and several associated ordinances could be laid before the States for approval before the end of 2020.
A period of public consultation on proposed changes to the Law opens today and remains open until Monday 9th March 2020. The consultation can be found at www.gov.gg/educationlawreview.
The Committee has received advice about the new Law from a working group which includes political members, representatives of primary and secondary head teachers, legal and policy advisors, the Head of Curriculum and Standards, and the Head of Inclusion and Services to Children and Schools. Discussions with groups with a special interest in one or more sections of the Law, such as home schooling, continue alongside this consultation. In recent weeks some changes were made to the consultation document following feedback from employee representatives.
Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:
"The current Law is decades out of date. It includes much which is unnecessary and it is silent on some very important aspects of a modern education system. Once we have reflected on responses obtained through the consultation period, we will be within touching distance of presenting the States with the Policy Letter. If the States approve the proposals in our Policy Letter, the resultant Projet de Loi could be presented to the States relatively shortly thereafter and this would be an important step forward for education locally.
"The current Law draws heavily on UK legislation which is rooted in the society of the 1940s. The new Law intends to capture the purpose and objectives of education in a modern society. Our proposals will make the Law much clearer in setting out the rights and responsibilities of all those who have an important role to play in the success of education, including schools, parents, students and the Committee. The new Law will also include more about education standards, devolution of governance to school leaders, equality of opportunity, special educational needs and modern international standards in relation to children, none of which are covered adequately in the present Law.
"The Committee intends to include a Proposition in its Policy Letter asking the States to direct that there must be another period of consultation once a draft Projet is published and before it is submitted to the States for debate."