Wednesday 15 June 2022
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture has provided more details about the workstreams and initiatives it will implement if the States agree proposals in the updated Government Work Plan, to provide more than £5m. of additional funding over the next three years.
These education initiatives, many of which are part of COVID-19 recovery plans for additional support and were developed following a survey of all staff working in the States Education sector and additional feedback from Headteachers, Principals and Senior Education Leaders that the Committee took onboard.
Feedback from school-based staff highlighted the need for extra resources to ensure students receive additional and different support, both academic and from a wellbeing perspective, to bounce back from two years of disruption.
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture is grateful for the support of the Policy & Resources Committee, which recognised the importance of continued investment in education and for giving appropriate priority to this work despite challenging financial times, and particularly to support a targeted programme to help those students identified by schools as being most affected academically and emotionally by the pandemic.
Initiatives that will be put in place, if the States Assembly supports the funding proposals, include:
- Additional support for disadvantaged or affected learners within core subjects such as maths and English
- A SENco (special educational needs coordinator) to work across pre-schools and the early years phases
- Development of additional interventions for children presenting with mental health and wellbeing needs
- Additional Learning Support Assistants to work within early years, primary and secondary phases
- Family support workers and Learning Mentors within the secondary and post 16 sectors to work with students and families where challenges exist
- Provision of additional language and literacy support within the primary sector
In addition to these new initiatives, the funding will accelerate implementation of the recommendations from the nasen SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) review.
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:
"On behalf of the Committee I want to thank all staff who supported this work by providing valuable feedback via a recent values assessment survey, which not only influenced further development of our Education Strategy, but also our proposed programme of COVID recovery workstreams and activities. A little under 900 staff, out of a workforce of about 1,200, participated in this secure and statistically robust survey which gave incredibly useful insight into what they think is working well and where they believed an increased focus was needed in the future. The Committee welcomed the feedback given by staff which was extremely useful. The plans developed by the Committee, with the support of the Policy & Resources Committee, show our level of commitment to listening and taking action. We cannot stand still, investment in education is essential for the future success of our young people and our community. All of this work aligns with our Education Strategy and we are starting to see that this is having a positive impact."
Nick Hynes, Director of Education, said:
"As educationalists we will always say that every pound spent to benefit children and young people is a pound well spent for the benefit of the island and its future. A significant part of the additional funding, if it's agreed by the States, will go towards a variety of work streams over the next three years that we're referring to as our Covid bounce back plan - activities which are completely aligned with the priorities and commitments of our Education Strategy.
"While we were very fortunate that the pandemic didn't prevent young people accessing learning, or cause them to have long periods outside school, we have nevertheless experienced two years of significant disruption. This disruption will have impacted the learning of some students more than others and through this additional investment we're seeking to target those funds where they're most needed, providing more support for the young people who need it."