I just wanted to thank everyone for contacting me regarding the Education Debate – I may not have replied to all your e-mails but I have been reading them and taking note of your views.
As you will see from my Page “The Future of Education”, I cannot see how we can justify the continuation of the 11+ and my views haven’t changed. Also, I have not been persuaded there is a good alternative and so I will be voting against re-introducing selection.
I believe in inclusion and equality but the 11+ excludes many who are perfectly capable of academic achievement. However, I do want to ensure the 25% aren’t disadvantaged by ensuring excellent education for all by enshrining the quality of the Grammar School’s achievements across our schools – something I do think parents and teachers alike want and I do believe is possible.
I do not think following the UK’s example is the way forward but I believe in a new system which emanates from the Grammar School – the International Baccalaureate – a system which starts from primary school, which has excellent results, up-skills teachers, is liked by parents and teachers alike and could lead to international respect for our education system. It combines academic and vocational training and compliments our new curriculum. It is not too expensive and is designed to fit in with other jurisdictions’ education systems. It is a change but not a big change and it could end the polarising debate going on at the moment.
I mention this only to show what our education system could look like as, naturally, this is not going to be a matter for a vote. Whilst ending selection may seem like a huge leap of faith for some, I do not think the alternative has to be based on the UK comprehensive system. By removing selection, I don’t think it will, in any way, be the end of the line for great education here on Guernsey.