Staff at Le Murier School have added their voices in support of a requete that calls for a pause to ESC's plans for secondary education reform.
While it is not part of the reorganisation of secondary schools, Le Murier shares a site and many facilities with St Sampsons High School. 97.9 % of 48 staff who took part in a ballot feel that no clear answers have been given by ESC to address their concerns across a range of areas.
Some of the main areas of concern are outlined here:
1. Indoor Sports Facilities access - Will Le Murier students have the same number of hours use of the Sports facilities as at present? If the complexities of our cohort were to increase, can we be guaranteed to have an increased amount of access to the shared facilities? Currently, Le Murier is often unable to access the Sports Hall when needed because of the large student number at St Sampson’s High School. Current proposals to increase student numbers at Victor Hugo College show there are no plans to increase facilities and this will have a detrimental effect on the Le Murier students.
2. Pool access - Will Le Murier students have the same number of hours use of the pool as they currently enjoy when there are additional students at Victor Hugo College? The Le Murier curriculum ensures students have access for all students on a weekly basis which enables vital routines to be established for the whole year. Current proposals regarding how the new model will affect these routines are unclear. Students with anxiety, ASD and hypersensitive disorders require quiet, low stimulation environments – can this be guaranteed when the numbers of students in each year group at Victor Hugo College is due to rise to over 300 students? As with the previous point if the needs of the complexities of our cohort were to increase, can we be guaranteed to have an increased amount of access to the shared facilities?
3. If the timings of the day are altered at Victor Hugo College, there will be a detrimental effect on those students who access lessons in both schools. A number of students from the High School currently access some lessons at Le Murier – if lesson times are changed, extended or the day lengthened any co-located educational or social opportunities could be hampered. The current ethos of Baubigny Schools is that of “Learning Together “. This has had a positive impact on the confidence and self - esteem for students in both schools. Has this been taken into account when planning the changes for Victor Hugo College?
4. The Village Project - The school has been given a considerable sum of money by charities and would like to progress with this project to increase the independence and life skills needed by our students. Work has been halted due to the planning proposals for the increased school footprint. Current alternatives are possible but need planning approval although they do not have the same benefits of previous plans.
5. Emergency Services Strategy - have there been any discussions with the emergency services to ensure that they have access to Le Murier at all times during peak traffic flow and that access is not impeded in case of a medical emergency or a fire? Some of our students have medical conditions that may require rapid intervention and any delay could be very serious.
6. Traffic - the staff have many concerns about the additional traffic which will be caused by the additional students at Victor Hugo College. How will this affect the students on education transport, staff, peripatetic staff based at Le Murier, other visiting professionals
and parents picking up? There are a few of our students who access the main school buses,
7. Parking - the staff are concerned about there being enough visiting staff parking at Le Murier. We have a large number of visiting professionals and peripatetic staff as well as parents that regularly need parking and current facilities do not meet demand. Under the
proposals outlined, the area designated as being available for visiting professionals is due to decrease by up to 4 parking spaces near the canteen. Are our students expected to wait for medical appointments, physiotherapy, speech and language input and other meetings while the professionals seek somewhere else to park whilst maintaining adequate space for mini
buses to drop off, turn and allow access for wheelchair tail lifts? These concerns have been raised with the ESC by the school and have yet to be addressed. We feel it is important for the States of Guernsey to take the necessary time to consider the possible
outcomes for all the students who will be affected by the planned proposals. We urge our Deputies to take this opportunity to examine all the options available to Guernsey to provide a better non - selective education for our children.