Wednesday 18 January 2023
The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture intends to propose that the new Education Law establishes boards of governors for education settings.
This change would remove the Committee from having to provide direct governance to all 20 States-maintained education settings and would, instead, legally introduce governance boards, with legislation outlining their purpose, constitution and high-level duties.
Changing the approach to education governance is one of the Committee's flagship proposals as part of its work to update the Education Law, which is widely regarded as outdated and no longer fit for purpose.
However, before finalising its proposals, the Committee wants to receive feedback from the community. Its public consultation will go live at 4pm today and be available at www.gov.gg/yourviews
Today, the Committee has published a short animation seeking to provide an overview of governance within an education context and is asking for views about the future of education governance. The animation can be viewed via the States of Guernsey's social media accounts and on the States' website at www.gov.gg/educationlaw
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, President of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture, said:
'Education governors are responsible for supporting and challenging school leaders on behalf of their communities. Guernsey, however, has always been in an unusual position of not having formal groups of governors for States-maintained education settings. Instead, the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture govern all education settings, as required by the current but outdated Education Law. This means the political committee have direct responsibility for governing 20 education settings and about 7,000 students; a challenging task for such a small group of people to carry out effectively. This Committee has undertaken this work through the formation of interim Governing Boards and learning from this has helped to inform our thinking in this area.
'As such, the Committee wants to overhaul our system of education governance, so that the responsibilities of school leaders, school governors and the political committee are all separately and clearly defined. Headteachers need regular support and challenge as they focus on day-to-day education delivery. To allow this, we are proposing the creation of new boards of governors for education settings. We want people with relevant skills and backgrounds to represent school and The Guernsey Institute communities on these boards, and to formally meet and engage with school leaders.
'Under our proposals the new Education Law would establish governance boards for education settings, with the legislation outlining their purpose, constitution and high-level duties. Our current proposals for the Law are for it to also establish powers of intervention and clarify relationships between the Committee and the governance boards. Additionally, our current education system includes School Committees, but their roles and responsibilities have reduced over time as the system and its support services have evolved. It is important to clarify that School Committees as they are currently constituted are not the same as governing boards and do not have any responsibility for overall governance. These committees do perform valued duties within the existing legal framework but to ensure there is no confusion with the new governance boards which we propose to introduce, the updated law will remove the requirement for School Committees. We are very hopeful that some of the current School Committee members, many of whom have served their community for many years, will consider putting themselves forward to be governors in the future, working alongside other members of the community who have not yet got involved in the life of their local school or the TGI.'