I feel passionately about the quality of education and the equality of its provision for all our island school children. They are, without a doubt, our most valuable resource. Investment in their education is investment in the future and it is essential that funding for education is distributed fairly. We need nursery education for all and a more integrated post 16 provision. Our College of Further Education, which has served the island so well for many years, deserves the reinvestment that was planned as part of the closure of St Peter Port School, and public recognition of its achievements and value to our community.
The single most important factor in achieving an excellent education for all our children is the quality of the teachers that we recruit and our ability to retain them. Five year licences are simply not long enough to provide the vital continuity that our students need nor, when you consider the generous relocation package that is offered to new teachers, are they cost effective. Population control methods, whilst essential, need to be more flexible to enable excellent teachers to play a full part in the development of the service.
It is my firm and long held belief that schools should be empowered to put their improvement plans into action through more independence from centralised control with accountability established through a School Governors system answerable to the States of Guernsey, and I welcome the contribution to this effect made by Denis Mulkerrin in his recent review of education.
A new Education Law is essential and should lay the foundations of a system that will remove current anomalies and provide an education for all island children of which we can all be proud. Driving through proposals for change and the formulation of a new education law would be one of my main priorities if elected.