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Guernsey's Education Programme Remains Unfunded

Deputies have voted against four budget amendments, meaning the Education Committee doesn't have the finances to go ahead with the campus at Les Ozouets.

Education's bid to find money for its Transformation Programme came in the form of an alliance between committee president deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen and deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller.

Both laid amendments that would see building begin at Les Ozouets, either through straight borrowing of £100M, or borrowing backed up by a levy paid annually by Guernsey corporates.

Both amendments failed.

Deputy Dudley-Owen warned of a bleak future:

"The thought of having to roll back progress and perhaps face the prospect of sending our 16 year olds and adult learners off island, is just awful."

Next, but separately, deputies Gavin St Pier and Charles Parkinson asked for a short delay in a funding decision, to allow more information and options to be put before deputies in spring 2024. This also failed, despite deputy Parkinson's warning ahead of the vote:

"If this amendment fails then effectively the education system is de-funded and is unlikely to make any further progress in this States term, in my opinion." 

A lack of political support means a continued period of uncertainty for pupils, parents, staff and the building trade, who warned against exactly this continued indecision.

It's unclear whether any further amendments to the budget will be laid to enable a vote on education's estate.

Once the 2024 budget is complete, then deputies will debate a motion of no confidence in the senior committee, P&R.

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