A New Deal for Education
- Ensure that all students have adequate school facilities to learn in, including building a new primary school in town
- Defend access to university for all students, irrespective of their family's financial circumstances
- Develop a Further Education campus to provide modern facilities and connections to Jersey's economy
- Widen the scope of qualifications offered to embrace the need for vocational training for the Island’s needs and the changing needs of a digital world
Education is the greatest investment a government can make in its people. Reform Jersey wishes to see an education system which enables every Islander to reach their full potential and provides opportunities for everyone to gain the skills they need to thrive in the modern economy.
Any investment, if effectively directed, will pay dividends in the long-term development of a highly skilled community. Only then do we have the chance to stabilise the population and provide for the long term needs of Jersey.
In preceding years there has been review after review into the way forward for our education system. It is time to stop reviewing and start acting to build the best lifelong education system possible for Jersey. The School Funding Review has identified ways to provide schools with greater resourcing and to address the inequalities there are in pupil funding, including access to mental health and wellbeing support. There is also an ongoing school sites review, which aims to identify the best way to provide better school facilities for children in town. Reform Jersey has secured a commitment to reserve the end of the gas works site for a new school, with the rest of the site used to extend the Millennium Park. This would also enable the current Springfield School site to be turned into a small park.
Reform Jersey remains committed to ensuring that a young person’s background does not affect their ability to go to university on the grounds of cost. We will ensure that access to Student Finance is protected and enhanced. We must also develop a Further Education campus to provide modern facilities for post-16 students that has clear links with our local economy.
Education systems exist beyond the UK. We must take the best practice from around the world and what is best in Jersey now to build a model that best suits Jersey and its needs. We must address the false separation between academic and vocational education that does not fit modern economies. We will seek to widen the scope of qualifications offered to embrace the need for vocational training for the Island’s needs and the changing needs of a digital world.
As more people wish to retrain as they get older so can they advance their career, we must ensure that appropriate life-long learning opportunities are available. We must consult with businesses to identify the areas where skills shortages are developing, which we can then target with training.
We will increase collaboration across schools and sectors to use the skilled resources of the teaching profession we have on Island and act to train, retain and attract the best teachers for our children. We must focus staff training directly into classrooms rather than into the layers of management.