People Power demand answers to 75 questions of ESC

Pressure Group People Power Guernsey has written an open letter to Education Sport and Culture that includes more than 75 questions it wants to be answered on the future of secondary education.

The group says there are still many issues that are unclear that need to be addressed ahead of next week's States debate where members will debate a requete that calls for a pause and time to reflect on ESC's plans to create one secondary school over two sites.

The group says it's asking the questions because many individuals in government employment feel unable to ask them because of the jobs that they do.

Here is the letter in full:

Dear ESC,

We are sure you are aware that on February 2nd People Power Guernsey organised a March in which we invited members of the public to show their concerns with regard the current plans for a 1 School on 2 site model. It has always been People Power Guernsey’s aim to act as a voice for those who feel they are not being heard or are scared to speak out as a loan voice. You will have seen that thousands turned up on a cold and wet February afternoon to have their voices heard.

Since February 2nd we have been made aware of a number of concerns regarding the proposed one school two site model and would hope that you would be able to clarify some points for the parents, carers, grandparents, students, professionals and the general public who have taken their time to write to us with their concerns. Unfortunately the list is fairly long but hopefully you will have all the answers to hand. With a debate taking place next week with regard to the future education system it is extremely important that all the facts are known and questions are answered.

We also hope you understand that the questions are coming from us because many individuals in government employment feel unable to ask them because of their roles, but they are even more important as many of them understand the education system better than us.

In the interests of transparency we have copied in all deputies and the media into this e-mail and will also post the e-mail on our social media site and likewise once we have your responses we shall post those.  

May we thank you for your time in answering the concerns below:

Thank you.

People Power Guernsey

 

1) It is unclear how the vertical tutor groups will work in the two site model. Please could you clarify:

A) How many students there will be in each vertical tutor group?

B) Whereabouts in each site will the vertical tutor groups be able to meet as there is no designated space for the students?

 2) Do you agree that the profession supported the initial two site model when it was proposed as it was better than the current committee’s three school and post 16 proposals?

 3) Do you agree that there are other three school models with alternative post 16 arrangements which would not impact progress with the development the Guernsey Institute?

 4) Please could you explain how the proposed enrichment programme is intended to work? 

 5) It is understood that there will be 60 sessions at each site, so 120 each week and you are expecting 30% of these to be provided by external providers. So you will need 36 external providers each week. 

A) Are these assumptions correct?

B) How confident are you that you can provide this content and provide engaging content that the students want?

C) What is the anticipated cost of this enrichment programme?

 6) Would you agree that the best schools achieve great outcomes for their students because the school day is simple and allows for innovation and creativity in the school day?

 7) Would you agree that the school day in your model is complex as opposed? 

 8) Please could you outline the benefits to the young people from the current enrichment programme as it is difficult to identify the incremental benefit? 

 9) Do you agree that the majority of the enrichment programme is going to be class room based? If not please could you explain your reasoning?

 10) Please could you explain in simple terms how the lunchtime sessions will work on a daily basis? Is it reasonable to assume that the students will have around 20 minutes each to eat?

 11) Please could you explain the difference in facilities for sixth form independent study in the current and models?

 12) The current Sixth form gives students a silent room, monitored area and sixth form area space.  The new schools have these areas as corridors and throughfares. Can you explain how the two site model will improve the facilities for students? 

 13) Please can you describe how the Committee obtained views of the students and young people in the design of the two sites?

 14) What evidence do you have that the young people support the two site model?

 15) Are you able to provide a comparison of students key stage 4 options for 2020/21 compared with 2019/20?

 16) Please could you show what post 16 options will be available for the students in your new model and is with any differences with the current t offering at the single sixth form?

 17) How is the Committee intending to protect the mental health and well being of students and staff in the new model given the diminished space available and longer, more intense working day?

 18) How much more money, do you think the States would have to spend on traffic arrangements

 19) Would more space include purpose built six calm areas, both for independent study and a common area as current, and at all the islands granted colleges that do not need to be shared with lower school.

 20) Why is it acceptable to allow the island's excellent provision at Key Stage 5 to be the casualty of the one school plan...?

 21) How does the provision of more space address the reduced choice and provision of courses?

 22) How does the provision of more space address the potential need to travel?

 23) The one school model creation of these failings is certainly one way of achieving equality of opportunity for all students in States education system.  Is your Committee’s intention to give all State’ students a far poorer deal than private college students? It will simply have an adverse effect on their life chances and widen the social gap for generations. 

 24) What plans are in place to appoint a new Director of Education?

 25) When will this post be advertised?

 26) What steps are being taken to avoid further reputational damage to such senior appointments?

 27) Many people do not understand why the Committee dismisses the current site at Footes Lane as an educational establishment.&

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