Monday 10 February 2020
Approving the Requete on education would stop work on the integration of further and on-island higher education and indefinitely delay the construction of new purpose-built facilities for The Guernsey Institute at Les Ozouets.
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture has confirmed that it would be impossible to continue this work given the directions in the Requete.
Deputy Matt Fallaize, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:
"The Requete directs the Committee to enter into what would inevitably be a lengthy review of multiple models of secondary education which have been considered and dismissed previously. These include a tertiary college combining all elements of post-16 education - including A Levels and further education - and the previous Committee's rejected proposal to split the College of Further Education in two and create two new separate, illogical and probably unworkable institutions across post-16 education. Secondary and further education are two sides of the same coin. While multiple models affecting both phases are being pointlessly reviewed again - any one of which may ultimately be implemented - it would be impossible to continue the excellent work which has been going on over the past year to establish The Guernsey Institute, which integrates the three States-funded providers of further and higher education, and to get them into new purpose-built facilities according to the timeline we have set out and had approved by the States."
The Guernsey Institute was established in 2019 by bringing together the College of Further Education, Institute of Health and Care Studies and GTA University Centre, as approved by the States in 2018. The Committee is conscious of the new and unwelcome uncertainty the Requete has generated in the further and higher education sector. Approving the Requete would prolong this uncertainty - as well as prolonging uncertainty in the secondary phase of education.
Deputy Fallaize said:
"Some of the signatories to the Requete always opposed our approved plans to integrate all parts of the College of Further Education, Institute of Health and Care Studies and GTA University Centre and right up until the last moment there were efforts to prevent it going ahead even though it had been approved by the States months earlier. The College of Further Education in particular has been operating in wholly outdated and unacceptable facilities for far too many years. College leaders, lecturers and students could finally see some light at the end of that tunnel and are eager for integration and the development of new purpose-built facilities to proceed according to our timeline and without further unnecessary delay. Our Committee is highly critical that the Requete appears to pay no attention to the huge disruption to further and on-island higher education which would be caused if the States are unwise enough to approve it."
Julian Winser, Chairman of the Shadow Board of Governors of The Guernsey Institute, said:
"The integration of the three post-16 institutions into The Guernsey Institute is already under way, so to have to stop if the Requete is successful would be hugely damaging given the widespread support for the reforms from industry, the educational system, and the public: in fact all except a very small number of deputies. The development of a much-needed purpose-built facility for the new Institute would be a watershed moment for how our island views technical and professional qualifications and their necessity for the future economic success of Guernsey. It is, therefore, hugely important that these vital and exciting reforms are carried through without any interference. The students of today and tomorrow demand our duty of support."