Deputies received an email yesterday sent on behalf of management committees in the primary and secondary phases asking them to consider backing a sursis – a delaying motion – to allow more time for consultation and for Education’s proposals for a new law to be reconsidered.
‘Not one of the school management committee members spoke up in support at Education’s law presentation recently,’ they said.
‘Since then some of the management committees have met with all their members, who continue to oppose many parts of the new Education Law.
‘For this reason, once the amendments have been laid and voted on and general debate has taken place, would States members please consider a sursis before Education sums up?’
Education, Sport & Culture is asking the Assembly to support 44 separate propositions as drafting instructions for a new comprehensive law which it wants to introduce in September 2025 to replace legislation which in some cases dates back to 1970.
In addition to school management committees’ request for a sursis, ESC is facing nine amendments to its proposals. The amendments include several on home education and the grant-aided colleges.
Most of the amendments propose limiting ESC’s powers in the new law.
The email sent on behalf of management committees, which was not passed to the Guernsey Press by the committees, raised numerous concerns about ESC’s proposals. But it focused primarily on plans to appoint school governance boards. Each board would have a broad oversight role for a cluster of schools but few powers.
It criticised the proposed membership, duties and costs of governance boards. It also claimed there was uncertainty in the proposals about whether ESC would use governance boards to transfer responsibility for the performance and quality of States schools.
‘A late sursis during the debate would be the most effective and helpful route,’ it said.
‘A sursis would allow ESC to take on board what has been raised [by management committees] and in debate.
‘It would also enable consultation with school committees, the public and all douzaines.’
ESC has said its proposals for a new law are ‘imperative’ and that ‘the foundation of the education system is the legislative framework that underpins it’.