Pause and Review Requete
Direct ESC to not enter into any contractual obligations relating to the one school two sites model and direct the committee to prepare a report showing a comprehensive comparison of viable models of secondary education excluding any including selection by academic ability or apitude
Pour (for) 18: Al Brouard, Andrea Dudley-Owen, David De Lisle, Rob Prow, Victoria Oliver, Peter Ferbrache, John Gollop, Lester Queripel, Marc Leadbeater, Joe Mooney, Lyndon Trott, Carl Meerveld, Neil Inder, Mary Lowe, Laurie Queripel, Jeremy Smithies, Chris Green and Barry Paint.
Contre (against) 17: Emilie McSwiggan, Shane Langlois, Heidi Soulsby, Lindsay de Sausmarez, Peter Roffey, Dawn Tindall, Barry Brehaut, Rhian Tooley, Michelle Le Clerc, Jennifer Merrett, Gavin St Pier, Jane Stephens, Matt Fallaize, Sarah Hansmann Rouxel, Richard Graham, Mark Dorey and Jonathan Le Tocq.
Abstained: Charles Parkinson
Absent: Deputy Paul Le Pelley and Alderney Representatives Steve Roberts and Alex Snowdon.
After a vote of 18-17 the requete has been passed.
- Copyright: BBC
Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen said: "The requete provides the committee with an opportunity to re-engage with the teachers, support staff, students, the wider community and to being them along on the journey of reviewing the model.
"They can regain lost trust and restore lost confident - if we not support the requete... this can not be effectively done.
"We will be merely ignoring substantial opposition."
- Quote Message: This is an opportunity to re-affirm the one school on two sites model, if it really is the best option or to identify a better alternative."
The words of the lead signatory of the requete, Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen.
She added: "In either case it will be with proper engagement with the stakeholders."
Whatever the result of the debate Deputy Matt Fallaize - the President of Education, Sport and Culture, says his committee understands what needs to be done to meet the expectations of the public and staff.
He said: "We understand the challenges and we are ready to face up to them and do our very best to meet them in relation to stakeholder engagement and addressing the concerns of teachers."
A move to greater coordination and an end to inequity across secondary education in Guernsey will be halted by the requete, says Deputy Matt Fallaize.
He said: "I have not heard many, maybe even any, States members arguing against the concept of one school operating on a number of sites and yet the terms of the requete stop the development of one school.
"The attempt to try to get greater consistency between secondary education whether it's on four sites or three sites.
"That may not be the intention of the requete but that is the wording of the requete."
He added: "The States' resolutions which create one school are bound up in the resoiltions that direct the development of two 11-18 colleges."
During debate his fellow deputies have called for more stakeholder engagement - something Deputy Matt Fallaize says the requete does not deal with.Copyright: BBC
The education committee president said: "Not only does it not deal with the issue of stakeholder engagement it makes it less likely as the committee, whether it's this committee or any other committee will be directed to get into this period of review about models of education.
"That will be a distraction from the challenge of trying to deal with stakeholders concerns... even with a longer timeline than set out in the requete.
"There is not going to be the time or space to engage with stakeholders and particularly with staff on the matters that concern them the most.
"Whatever the answer the prayer of this requete is not the answer."
A motion from Deputy Gavin St Pier to curtail general debate.
It means the lead requerrant and the presidents of those committees whose work is related to the petition's proposals have the option to speak before the vote takes place.
"What this requete has done is highlighted that the process has gone badly wrong and I think it's a responsible government that recognises that," said Deputy Rob Prow.
"Whether that's because the model is flawed or because the process is flawed."
He said: "What was lacking and what has come back to haunt this house, the public and everyone else is the lack in the beginning of this process of the stakeholder/end user engagement."
Mr Prow, who is one the seven requerrants, said: "I hope this house does support [the requete] and we do have that review - pause and review - and that sensible people who are willing to take on that stakeholder engagement and change and listen to it and come back with a report to address those concerns is something worth having - an end goal worth achieving."
Deputy Peter Roffey has told the States he believes the requete will be "very expensive and very destructive" if a delay of multiple years to education reform as expressed by Deputy Ferbrache is brought about.
"There is going to be a heck of a reaction from people whose families are actually impacted," he said.
Mr Roffey argued the island needed a period of conciliation over the contentious issue, but further delay was not the way to bring that about.
"This is a route to inflammation, not healing," he said.
Speaking in general debate, Deputy Peter Ferbrache has expressed scepticism of the claim the requete would only cause a delay of one year to education reforms if successful.
"I can only say, having been in this assembly now for the best part of four years, that would be unique," Mr Ferbrache told the States.
He said it was unlikely that the necessary policy letter would be produced on time to keep the delay to under a year.
"We've got an election in June, then we've got the summer holidays," he said. "October is totally unrealistic.
"We are going into a delay of two or three years at least... I feel sorry for parents."
However, despite these reservations, Mr Ferbrache said he supported the requete with a "considerable degree of regret", because of the "overwhelming view of so many people in Guernsey".
After one amendment was passed it means the wording of the requete is:
- To direct the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture not to enter into any contractual obligations on behalf of the States or continue with any associated procurement processes for implementation of any elements of the 1 school on 2 sites plan as approved by the States on 6th September 2019;
- To direct the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture to prepare a report before the end of the term of the current States, that must include a comprehensive comparison of the structure and implementation of the 1 school on 2 sites plan with other viable models of non-selective educational delivery in Guernsey previously presented to and considered by the Committee, for consideration by the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture as constituted after the 2020 General Election ("the newly constituted Committee") and to direct the newly constituted Committee to revert to the States before the end of 2020 with a Policy Letter and suitable Propositions to implement what it believes to be the best model for secondary education in Guernsey;
- To agree that any comparison or consideration of educational models must exclude models that involve selection by academic ability or aptitude.
The amendment from Deputies Sausmarez and Merrett was passed by a vote of 29-3.
It means the following proposition has been added to the requete:
3. To agree that any comparison or consideration of educational models must exclude models that involve selection by academic ability or aptitude.
Two other amendments that had been due to be laid were not so general debate on the amended requete is under way.
The amendment from Deputies Neil Inder and Al Brouard to try to set four model for the States to consider for secondary education failed by a vote of 14-22.
Deputy Barry Brehaut tweets his view from the chamber...
"[The amendment] does move us forward, but does it solve the problem we were trying to fix?," Deputy Sarah Hansmann Rouxel has told the States.
"I think laying this amendment has exposed the farce of the requete, firstly in the timelines, this is a far more realistic look at the timeline, it may not be entirely possible but it's far more realistic.
"The requete was attractive to those who had genuine concerns because it promised something that was not possible."Copyright: BBC
She said: "How we respond to concerns as a parliament, as a government is how effective we are in our decision making."
Mrs Hansmann Rouxel said her support for the one school on two sites model was because she believed it allowed resources to be pooled more "effectively and efficiently" for all students.
Deputies are due to return at 14:30 when debate on the amendment from Deputies Inder and Brouard will continue.
Whatever decision the States makes the views of teachers and the public must be taken on board, said Deputy Mary Lowe.
She said: "We should either do it properly or just turn this into a farce, which it is becoming in my opinion.
"We've heard we should listening to the public, we should be listening to the teachers and those in the education system and yet we're not prepared to do that because we're still wanting to pick what we want to pick on the floor of the house."
As one of the requete signatories she said "unless we actually support [proposition] number one of the requete" then there will be no pause, which teachers have asked for.
She said whatever followed the pause "must include consultation with the teachers and indeed the public and the parents, otherwise we are yet again ignoring that factor, designing on the floor of the house".
Further reviews are not in themselves a way forward and a decision is needed, Deputy Heidi Soulsby has said.
She told the States: "This is about trying to find a way through and getting what is right and having a decision that we all know will provide us a way forward.
"That's always been my concern with the requete, that it's a sledgehammer to crack a nut and it gives us, as I've said before and Deputy Dudley-Owen might not like it, but it will give us years of uncertainty, which is not good for either children, teachers or parents and that's the biggest concern for me.
"It does look like we stand with no end in sight at the moment and I think we have to find a way through."
Mrs Soulsby said just a comparison of two 11-18 schools and three 11-18 schools would have her support.
She described that as an acceptable "pit stop" rather than the "long diversion of the requete".