Cutting Guernsey English Speaking Exams is 'appalling' says former head teacher

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Cutting funding for English Speaking Exams in Guernsey is "appalling" and "a big mistake" a former head teacher has said.

Jenny Tasker who worked at La Mare de Carteret School said the exams improved pupils' speaking skills.

An Education Department spokesman said the cuts would save £40,000 each year and schools could still offer the exam if they funded it themselves.

The savings are part of plans to cut £31m from the States budget by 2015.

Some schools have already opted to fund their own English Speaking Exam, said the Education Department.

'Confidence building'

Ms Tasker said: "At one time in schools children were not expected to speak, they were expected to listen.

"But now speaking and listening are both important, not only for confidence building but to enable young people to operate properly when they go into future life."

The exams, which have been running since the 1980s, encouraged pupils to develop the confidence to speak in front of other people, added Ms Tasker.

The cut in funding is part of the Financial Transformation Programme, which aims to cut £31m from the States budget by the end of 2014.

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