Sunday 24 January 2021
Select a region

£11.6 million needed for education reform

£11.6 million needed for education reform

Monday 19 October 2020

£11.6 million needed for education reform


An independent review into the funding of education in Jersey – the first of its kind in almost three decades – has called for an extra £8.5 million, with an additional £3.1 million required to plug deficits.

The investment, which will have to be approved by the States Assembly, is part of a programme of reform which the government says will give Jersey a "world-class" system.

Commissioned by the Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, the Independent School Funding Review has concluded that additional funding of £8.5m is needed for education in Jersey. Additional pressures have added a further £3.1m of deficit, resulting in an updated requirement of £11.6m.

tracey-vallois.jpg

Pictured: Senator Tracey Vallois, the Education Minister, is hoping to secure an extra £11.6 million for her department.

In order to address this underfunding, the Government Plan for 2021 proposes earmarking an additional £7.9m to fund education which will rise to £11.6m over the next four years. 

In total, the Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) department allocates £88.4m a year to education for four to 18-year olds. However due to significant deficits in the system, an additional £2.4m was spent by schools last year.

The Independent School Review identified a number of issues with the current funding system, suggesting a more inclusive model would be based on the students’ needs, with more autonomy being given to schools as to how they manage their budget. 

4schools_pupils_teaching_teacher.JPG

Pictured: The Review called for a more inclusive model that would be based on the students’ needs.

The current funding model has reduced schools’ “ability to budget well for their children and led to ever increasing complexity” the review noted. 

It suggested an additional £656,000 be spent on Special Educational Needs (SEN) and more funding is being requested for students with low grades and English as an additional language (EAL).

The report called for more financial freedom for the schools to allow them to plan their finances over a longer term, rather than having to spend their budget before the end of the financial year. 

Charlesworth_Baudains.jpg

Pictured: La Moye's John Baudains also heads up Bel Royal School; and Les Landes' Vicki Charlesworth is also in charge at St Peter's School.

The review also suggested practical steps that could be taken to improve the local education system. Among those is the sharing of staff between schools, an initiative previously piloted with the headteachers of La Moye School and Les Landes School having taken over another local primary in September

The Education Minister said such collaboration between schools will have to be “carefully managed”, taking into account the wellbeing of the staff and the outcomes for the students.

“The idea behind it, one of the really important outcomes that we could achieve for students would be that collaboration between schools, because they are learning from each other, they can learn from people who are leading by example and some have learned different ways of teaching that would be very beneficial,” she said.

To make the system more efficient, mergers between schools have also been suggested to address the issue of schools operating under capacity, such as D’Auvergne, or of secondary schools struggling to deliver a full curriculum. 

schools_school_education_class_classroom_teaching.jpg

Pictured: Money could be saved by merging schools or sharing facilities.

To make savings, the review encouraged schools to share their facilities, curriculum and staffing, particularly in minority subjects and where recruitment is most challenging.

The Education Minister said that this would not happen at a “click of a finger”, and that the States Assembly would have to agree to any school closure.

“What they are talking about is could you make the service more efficient by having one school with more pupils in and therefore having more expertise in certain subjects, secondary schools are a perfect example, where you’ve got your science, your maths, your French, all those specific subjects they are concentrated in,” she explained. 

The Minister went on to say that considering mergers would be a “big piece of work”, that would include looking at the demand, especially for primary schools.

Alluding to Springfield School, she added: “It’s a great school and very community-based but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best way, especially when you are having to do admissions and allocations for children.”

The Government Plan will be debated in the States Assembly in December.

 

Sign up to newsletter

 

Guernsey goes into LOCKDOWN

Comments

Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.

Posted by Dean H on
Hmm now let me think...? what did the states waste 14 million on recently that has never been used and has to be returned in six months. Could have cleared this cost and had some change into the bargain!
Just maybe if Jersey put more emphasis on investing in the education of its children they would grow up better informed and more intelligent and then they could become politicians who would make sensible decisions. Sadly as we all know far too well, politicians on the whole are ultimately only ever looking out for themselves
To the 'states' sorry 'government' of Jersey (another waste of taxpayer money changing a name), if you are reading this please, please don't waste any more money on stupid 'covid schmovid'. We are all sick to the teeth with it. Lets get on with life, people naturally get sick of many things, they don't all die... thats life.
We don't lock down and spend millions with all the heart related, cancer, diabetes and other terminal illnesses (lets not mention the appalling amount of abortions worldwide, over 34 million so far in 2020), so why do we continue to focus on this non-pandemic.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Where on earth is all this money coming from, this island seems to be rolling in it!
Posted by Scott Mills on
All part of showing (trying) that Jersy is a world leader in how they treat their young population, and have world class education (for those who can pay), wonder what the "real" average of exam results would be if all the secondary school are taken into account for say...GCSE's. Certainly not an elitist society or system. One thing I should be on the table to use the money, to recruit more primary school male teachers. There's atleast one primary school on the island with not one male teachers, where's the role model for the young lads in the school or the understanding of what it's like to be a young lad, which obvioulsy the female staff hand no idea about. If there was a primary school here with entire teaching staff as male.....there would be protests...the lot to change it. That needs sorting quickly!!!
To place a comment please login

You have landed on the Bailiwick Express website, however it appears you are based in . Would you like to stay on the site, or visit the site?