Deputy Scott Wickenden has beaten off competition from two former teachers to become the next Minister for Children and Education.
The St. Helier Deputy, who has been an Assistant Children and Education Minister since March, has been managing the day-to-day running of the Children’s Young Persons, Education and Skills (CYPES) Department since Deputy Jeremy Maçon was removed later that month.
He beat former teacher and head of the Children, Education and Home Affairs Panel, Deputy Rob Ward, by a single vote in a head-to-head battle, with another former teacher, Deputy Louise Doublet, having already dropped out of the race after coming bottom in an earlier three-way vote.
Deputy Wickenden will be Education Minister for the next year, until elections are held next June.
Addressing the Assembly before the vote, making his pitch to be the minister, he said: “With just under a year until the next election, what the CYPES department needs is to see stability in its leadership, to better support, and progress the important strategic change programme that it is undertaking.
“I have already spent the last 100 days getting up to speed with all the various workstreams CYPES are undertaking, which means I will be able to seamlessly continue leading the department.”
Pictured: Deputy Rob Ward and Deputy Louise Doublet also ran for the position.
These workstreams included, he said, reviews into inclusion, school funding, Higher Education funding, Education reform, and a new Children’s Law.
In his pitch, Deputy Ward emphasised his experience as a teacher, head of department, union leader, as well as his work on Scrutiny, as evidence of his knowledge and commitment to young people and their education.
Deputy Doublet too, a former early years teacher, said that her track record proved she had “unwavering passion and commitment” to children and the Assembly could “trust her to be a stable, steady hand overseeing the wellbeing of young people”.
But, in the end, a small majority of Members – 24 to 23 - supported the Chief Minister’s choice, with Deputy Wickenden elected to take on one the island’s widest, biggest spending and most strategically important political portfolios.
Also in the Assembly today, Deputy Gregory Guida was appointed, without opposition, as the next Home Affairs Minister, filling the void left by Constable Len Norman, who recently passed away.
Pictured: St. Lawrence Deputy Gregory Guida is now Home Affairs Minister.
The St. Lawrence Deputy was previously an Assistant Homes Affairs Minister.
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