Wednesday 15 February 2023
Following a student and staff vote, the current Grammar School will be renamed Les Varendes High School from September 2023.
The change is part of the re-organisation of secondary and post-16 education agreed by the States in September 2021 and will signal the start of the process to merge La Mare de Carteret High School and the Guernsey Grammar School into one 11-16 school in time for September 2025.
The timing for the name change aligns with the final selective student cohort, currently in Year 11, having completed their secondary education. This means that from September 2023 the school will no longer be a 'grammar' school. As such the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture decided to implement a new name for the school from that date.
All students and staff from La Mare de Carteret High School and the Guernsey Grammar School were invited to vote for their preference of either Les Varendes High School or St Andrew's High School. These suggestions were chosen to ensure the new school's name is geographical and therefore aligns with the two other secondary schools; Les Beaucamps High and St Sampson's High.
A total of 518 voted with 56.9% choosing Les Varendes High School.
From September, the two schools at Les Varendes and La Mare de Carteret High School will begin working much more closely to support the staged process of merger. This work will be led by the senior leaders of both schools as they support students through the upcoming changes.
A student and staff 'New School Design Team' is being formed - 78 students put themselves forward to help with the work - to help make key decisions as the merger progresses. This team will help to develop the new school's culture and identity, including helping to create a new uniform for the school.
Verona Tomlin, La Mare de Carteret High School Principal, said:
"The bringing together of our two schools presents an exciting opportunity. We are going to be creating a new culture, identifying new values, and ensuring we create a school which benefits all of our staff and students. Of course, La Mare de Carteret High School and the Guernsey Grammar School already have many individual qualities so we will be drawing on all of those good things for the new Les Varendes High School."
Kieran James, Principal of the Guernsey Grammar School & Sixth Form Centre, said:
"As our current Year 11 cohort - the last to enter our school through the selective system - is moving on to post-16 study at the end of this academic year, it is the right time to rename the school. As we become fully comprehensive, we will continue to work with our colleagues and students at La Mare de Carteret High School to ensure that every member of the new school we develop will feel a sense of identity and belonging. I look forward to working with colleagues and our students across both schools."