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Education Transformation Frequently Asked Questions

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In January 2018, the States directed the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture (ESC) to close the four existing secondary schools and create two 11-18 colleges, which will both host sixth forms. These two colleges will be part of one school.

The new school will be called Lisia School and the two colleges will be known as Victor Hugo College (on the St Sampson's High School Site site) and de Saumarez College (on the Les Beaucamps High School site).

In the new model all students will have the widest possible range of curricular and extra-curricular opportunities and teachers in Guernsey will be able to work across all key stages in secondary education, which will maximise the chances of developing, recruiting and retaining great teachers. Understandably students, teachers and parents will have questions regarding the 11-18 model. Detailed below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. These will be updated as the transformation programme progresses.

If you would like to contact us to ask a question about the Education Transformation programme, please email: educationsportandculture@gov.gg.

Transition and Admissions

  • Which College will my child go to?

    • From September 2019, ESC will operate a partner school system for Year 7 secondary admissions, instead of allocation by catchment area. Parents and carers are able to apply for their child to attend a different secondary school site from the one that is partnered with their primary school, if they can demonstrate that it would be unreasonably detrimental to their child's education to attend the identified site. Further information can be found at www.gov.gg/partnerschools.
  • Will my child get to visit their new school before they move there in Year 9?

    • There will be many carefully planned opportunities for students to visit their new College before they transition there. This will involve a broad range of activities to ensure every child is confident and ready to move. For Year 11s there will be a strong focus on ensuring a smooth transition midway through GCSEs and staff will be heavily involved in supporting the transition.
  • How will the transition from the current school to the new college site happen?

    • There will be many carefully planned opportunities for students to visit their new College before they transition there. This will involve a broad range of activities to ensure every child is confident and ready to move. For Year 11s there will be a strong focus on ensuring a smooth transition midway through GCSEs and staff will be heavily involved in supporting the transition.
  • My child will change sites at the start of Year 11. What will be done to make sure the transition is smooth?

    • There will be many carefully planned opportunities for students to visit their new College before they transition there. This will involve a broad range of activities to ensure every child is confident and ready to move. For Year 11s there will be a strong focus on ensuring a smooth transition midway through GCSEs and staff will be heavily involved in supporting the transition.
  • What is the impact on children who only attend GGS or LMDC for two years?

    • There will be many carefully planned opportunities for students to visit their new College before they transition there. This will involve a broad range of activities to ensure every child is confident and ready to move. For Year 11s there will be a strong focus on ensuring a smooth transition midway through GCSEs and staff will be heavily involved in supporting the transition.
  • I have a child in Year 8 - where will they go to Sixth Form?

    • Students who achieve the entry requirements and choose to study courses offered in the Sixth Form will continue on their current sites where possible. This means that the majority students currently in Year 8 at LBHS or LMDC will progress to the Sixth Form at de Saumarez College, should they meet the entry requirements and choose to do so. The majority of students currently in Year 8 at SSHS will progress to the Sixth Form at Victor Hugo College, should they meet the entry requirements and choose to do so. Students currently in Year 8 at the Grammar School may progress to either Sixth Form site depending on their option choices and home address. A small number of students may move College for Sixth Form in order to study subjects which are only offered on one site.
  • We live on the border of the LBHS catchment but our child is at Notre Dame, how do we apply for a place at LBHS?

    • It is recognised that in certain situations parents/carers may have valid reason for requesting their child attends a school other than the one in the catchment area in which the parent or carer resides or, for children moving from Year 6 to Year 7, other than the Secondary Partner Site for the child's current primary school. If parents/carers wish to request a placement in a school outside their catchment area or other than their secondary partner site they will need to demonstrate why it would be unreasonably detrimental to the child's education to attend the allocated school. These are referred to as PC-OCAPS (Parent/Carer Out of Catchment Area/Partner Site) request; information on the circumstances within which such requests may be agreed is available at www.gov.gg/schooladmissions.
  • I would like my child to go straight to LBHS, how can I apply for a place there?

    • It is recognised that in certain situations parents/carers may have valid reason for requesting their child attends a school other than the one in the catchment area in which the parent or carer resides or, for children moving from Year 6 to Year 7, other than the Secondary Partner Site for the child's current primary school. If parents/carers wish to request a placement in a school outside their catchment area or other than their secondary partner site they will need to demonstrate why it would be unreasonably detrimental to the child's education to attend the allocated school. These are referred to as PC-OCAPS (Parent/Carer Out of Catchment Area/Partner Site) request; information on the circumstances within which such requests may be agreed is available at www.gov.gg/schooladmissions.
  • My child is currently at Amherst in Year 6, how do I apply for a place at St Sampson's as I already have another child there?

    • It is recognised that in certain situations parents/carers may have valid reason for requesting their child attends a school other than the one in the catchment area in which the parent or carer resides or, for children moving from Year 6 to Year 7, other than the Secondary Partner Site for the child's current primary school. If parents/carers wish to request a placement in a school outside their catchment area or other than their secondary partner site they will need to demonstrate why it would be unreasonably detrimental to the child's education to attend the allocated school. These are referred to as PC-OCAPS (Parent/Carer Out of Catchment Area/Partner Site) request; information on the circumstances within which such requests may be agreed is available at www.gov.gg/schooladmissions.

Supporting Students 

  • Will students with special educational needs and disabilities receive as much support in the new school?

    • Substantial areas have been allocated on both sites to provide support for students with special educational needs and disabilities. These will be larger and will be able to provide more flexible support than the current facilities available across the four sites. There will be bespoke communication and autism support bases on both sites, meaning students needing to access this provision can always attend the college closest to where they live and transfer to secondary school with their peers. Having these bases in place also means that students with special educational needs can begin their transition to secondary school earlier than other students, allowing for more individual transition plans and support.
  • I'm concerned about pastoral care provision in the new school

    • First class pastoral care and wellbeing will be at the heart of the new One School/Two Colleges model of secondary education.
    • The Committee is working with its senior advisors and school leaders to develop a package of measures to ensure that the 11-18 school does everything possible to meet the individual needs of all students. They include:
      • students working in small groups or 1:1 where this is felt to be the most appropriate environment;
      • purpose-built bases at both Colleges to support students with social and communication difficulties;
      • clear policies for a calm and safe learning environment;
      • facilities at both Colleges to allow students to meet services in mental health, youth justice, etc.; and
      • a 'schools within a school' model of vertical multi-year tutor groups. 
  • I'm worried that the new College will be too big and my child will be lost, how will this be managed?

    • All students attending one of the new Colleges will take part in transition activities to prepare them for joining the school. The designs of the new buildings are simple and this will help students to find their way around. There will be lots of staff and older students who will be on hand to support new students during their transition. Tutor groups in the new school will be smaller, with an average of 14-15 students. This will ensure every student is known really well. Pastoral structures will be organised according to a "schools within schools" model, with a strong house system. The electives programme will offer a broad range of additional subjects and extra-curricular activities which will allow the curriculum to be tailored to individual needs.
  • I'm concerned that class sizes will increase because the school is bigger, how will this be managed?

    • Class sizes are not changing. The current policy for class sizes is being continued into the new school. Tutor groups in the new school will be smaller, with an average of 14-15 students. This will ensure every student is known really well. Pastoral structures will be organised according to a "schools within schools" model, with a strong house system. The electives programme will offer a broad range of additional subjects and extra-curricular activities which will allow the curriculum to be tailored to individual needs.
  • I'm worried about bullying in a big school

    • Bullying can be a concern for parents. The new school will have clear policies to manage student behaviour and a zero tolerance approach to bullying. All students will be in a small tutor group of 14-15 students which will mean that their tutor will be able to support quickly with any emerging issues. It is the school's approach to it that makes the difference. The school will ensure any incidents of bullying are dealt with swiftly and that disruption to learning is not accepted. The improved pastoral support structures and greater staffing flexibility, including non-teaching staff, will ensure that responses can be quick and appropriate support can be put in place as necessary.
  • I'm concerned about setting. How will children of different abilities be stretched?

    • The curriculum has already been adapted this academic year to meet the needs of an all ability cohort across the four existing schools. Setting will continue in subjects where this is deemed in the best interests of students' learning and progress. Students with a particular aptitude in any given subject will be provided with challenging work which enables them to reach the highest possible standards.

 Transport

  • Will buses still run from where we live? How will the buses cope?

    • Work has already started to assess the school bus requirements for the two new colleges and it is the intention to provide bus travel for every child who wishes to take this up. In addition to the provision of buses, students will be encouraged to walk or cycle to school in order improve active travel and to contribute to sustainable ways of travelling around the island.

Uniforms

  • When are the uniforms being introduced and how will this work for those who have already purchased uniforms?

    • The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture has written to all parents & carers with information about the transition to new uniform for all students. Further information is available at www.gov.gg/uniform.
  • What should I do about uniform? Should I save my older child's uniform or wait for the new one?

    • The Committee for Education, Sport & Culture has written to all parents & carers with information about the transition to new uniform for all students. Further information is available at www.gov.gg/uniform.
  • What will the new uniform be?

    • The new uniform, which will be worn by students in both Victor Hugo and de Saumarez Colleges will be as follows:
      • Dark grey blazer
      • Black trousers or pleated skirt
      • White shirt
      • The exact colour and design of the tie and crest for the new school/colleges will be decided with support from students and staff and will include Guernsey green and gold.
    • The Committee will ensure that alternative garments are available for children who cannot wear conventional uniform.
    • Uniform

Building & Facilities

  • Will the colleges will be crowded at lunch times?

    • On both college sites, half of the school will have lunch at any one time: this is similar to the current number of students on the St Sampson's site, and the number the Les Beaucamps site was designed for. On the St Sampson's site, where the existing space is smaller, there will be an extension to the canteen. This means the same number of students will have lunch in a larger area, and it will be less crowded than it is now as a result. The Les Beaucamps site already has adequate space. The proposed new pastoral structures will mean there will be closer student supervision and greater opportunities to develop supportive relationships with tutors. There will be lunch time clubs and activities available as there are at the moment, and the proposed model aims to include these as part of teachers' time allocation along with after school activities to ensure a fair distribution of workload across the staff body.
  • What happens if the politicians change their mind?

    • The construction programme and redevelopment plan of Victor Hugo College and de Saumarez College has been carefully planned with adequate timescales for each stage. The programme of works will ensure the minimum of disruption to classroom timetables to achieve the planned deadline of 2022. The re-purposing works are planned for delivery over a number of stages and both sites provide a contingency should this be required.
  • What happens if the new college buildings are not ready in 2022?

    • The construction programme and redevelopment plan of Victor Hugo College and de Saumarez College has been carefully planned with adequate timescales for each stage. The programme of works will ensure the minimum of disruption to classroom timetables to achieve the planned deadline of 2022. The re-purposing works are planned for delivery over a number of stages and both sites provide a contingency should this be required.
  • How will the existing school sites be affected during the extension process?

    • During the extension process, the schools will continue to operate as normal. It is possible to develop the new colleges in ways which protect the areas of current buildings being used by students in order not to impact on the day to day running of the schools.
  • How will the LBHS site be developed to include a Sixth Form and more students in general and how will that affect the environment for the children currently at the school?

    • During the extension process, the schools will continue to operate as normal. It is possible to develop the new colleges in ways which protect the areas of current buildings being used by students in order not to impact on the day to day running of the schools. The LBHS site is not full at the moment and can already accommodate larger numbers of students even without an extension.
  • Will everything happen on time?

    • The construction programme and redevelopment plan of Victor Hugo College and de Saumarez College has been carefully planned with adequate timescales for each stage. The programme of works will ensure the minimum of disruption to classroom timetables to achieve the planned deadline of 2022. The re-purposing works are planned for delivery over a number of stages and both sites provides a contingency should this be required.
  • Isn't this just an unnecessary waste of money?

    • Currently, several of the buildings used for education are not fit for purpose. This includes La Mare de Carteret Primary and Secondary Schools and all three of the College of Further Education campuses at Delancey, Les Coutanchez and Les Ozouets. Significant repairs and upgrading is required at Les Varendes. Any of the various ways secondary and further and higher education could be organised, including having different numbers of schools or using different sites, would involve similar or higher costs to rebuild or improve buildings. It is unacceptable to have students learning in inadequate facilities. Spending money on education is absolutely necessary: we should do it in a way that delivers the greatest benefits to students. Saving money is not the key driver for change: the aim of the transformation programme is to provide equality of opportunity and the best possible educational provision for every child, regardless of where in the island they live. Consolidation on to a smaller number of sites will however create a number of efficiencies which in turn lead to savings. The Committee proposes to reinvest a substantial proportion of these savings to improve the quality of education.
  • Are these plans being rushed through?

    • The States have been debating the future structure of secondary and further education for at least the past three-and-a-half years. In January 2018, the States agreed that as soon as possible secondary education should be organised in two 11-18 colleges operating as a single school and that further and higher education providers should be brought together in purpose-built facilities. Since then extensive work has been undertaken to identify the space requirements, building costs and operational costs of the new model. Detailed building and curriculum plans have been put together with inputs from a wide range of staff. The Policy Letter and Business Case are publicly available and provide high levels of detail, in line with or exceeding the level provided at this point in other capital projects of this scale. The building plans have been available to view at several drop in sessions. The propositions asked the States to delegate the release of funds to P&R who will expect even greater levels of detail prior to the release of funds. This does not constitute a rush but careful steps, over a period of over a year and a half, towards considered proposals.
  • Should the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture have got planning permission for these schools before seeking approval from the States for funding?

    • It did not make sense to proceed with seeking planning permission until the States of Guernsey had approved the funding for the proposals put forward by the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture. This is in line with other capital programmes which have been approved by the States of Guernsey. A recent example of this is the Hospital Modernisation Policy Letter, where planning permission had not yet been agreed at the time of the policy letter debate.

Curriculum 

  • Will students have to stay longer at school every day for more lessons?

    • The new education model includes a suggested new curriculum and timetable. Currently the timetable differs between the Grammar School and the three High Schools, with the Grammar School finishing at 3.30pm and the High Schools at 3.05pm every day. In the proposed model students would finish at 4.05pm on three days per week and 3.05pm on the remaining two days. On the three extended days, students will have the opportunity to choose from a broad range of extracurricular opportunities, including arts, sports and additional languages. This will allow every student the opportunity to access high quality extracurricular activities regardless of their personal circumstances or reliance on school transport. This programme will be included as part of the teaching allocation rather than relying on staff to volunteer. This will ensure there is no increase in workload for staff, and that workload is more fairly distributed across the staff body.
  • What changes to the curriculum are planned during the transition and beyond?

    • The new larger colleges will be able to offer a broader curriculum, including three languages options at GCSE and A Level/IB, Triple Science and a broader range of Arts, Humanities, Technology and Vocational qualifications than any of our current schools are able to offer. The school plans to offer students a broad range of electives, in which students will be able to select subjects or opportunities according to their interests and ambitions.
  • Will students will have to travel offsite for PE more than they do at the moment?

    • The improved facilities on the new sites will ensure that a broader range of sports can be offered to a higher standard than is currently the case: for example, all students will have access to 25m indoor pools and extended multi-use games areas with improved surfaces. Students will still travel offsite to use the best facilities Guernsey has to offer, but the requirement to do so in order to access the range of sports offered will be lower than the current travel requirements across the four schools.
  • How will the new education system improve standards?

    • Historically our current system has been compared to outcomes in England to determine how well we are performing. The typical benchmark has been the proportion of students achieving five GCSE or equivalent qualifications at A*-C grades, including English and Maths figure. Typically the Bailiwick has performed around or marginally above the English figure, however it has long been argued that Guernsey's context is different and England as a whole is not representative. A closer analysis against areas that more closely match Guernsey's demographics suggest that Guernsey has underperformed by comparison. There is room for improvement in our system: we should be aiming for more for our students.

Teachers & Support Staff 

  • Do teachers have to reapply for their jobs?

    • All teaching staff have been guaranteed a teaching job in the new model. The States of Guernsey (as the employer) will be using a fair and reasonable process to support all staff through the transition to the new 11- 18 School, or The Guernsey Institute. This will include working with recognised Unions, following agreed processes, with an emphasis on causing the minimum of disruption to service delivery and staff.
  • I've heard there will not be any staff rooms in the future colleges

    • The plans for the new school include a number of "staff bases" for department or faculty groups, as well as a central staff room. At the Les Beaucamps site the existing staff room will remain, and at the St Sampson's site it will move to become more centrally located. This is in line with the preferences expressed by staff in the consultation survey to create more work areas where staff can work in their subject teams.
  • Do teachers have to have their lunch with students?

    • Staff will be encouraged to have lunch with students as they are at the moment. This helps to ensure there are shared spaces that are well ordered and calm and for the whole school community can enjoy them together. Staff may choose not to do so and any proposed changes to the current arrangements for lunch duties will involve further discussions with unions.

The Policy Letter to secure the funding necessary to deliver the new model of education, which was agreed by the States last year - was published on 5 July 2019.  The Policy Letter can be found here. 

Downloads

How students with different needs, interests, aptitudes and aspirations will thrive in the new model Class sizes and pupil teacher ratios Partner Schools - Frequently Asked Questions

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