Guernsey 11 plus could be scrapped from 2019

Guernsey secondary schools. Clockwise from top left; Grammar School, St Sampson's High, La Mare de Carteret High and Les Beaucamps High
Image caption If approved the plans would see the island's four States-run secondary schools form a federation

The 11 plus exams could end in 2019 under an overhaul of Guernsey's secondary education system.

The proposals include replacing the college grants with bursaries and creating one States-run secondary school spread across four sites.

The department has dismissed suggestions of closing one of its four secondary schools and called for the rebuild of two schools to go ahead.

The selective system was criticised in two reviews released in 2012.

Education Department proposals

  • Approve £64m for the rebuild of the La Mare de Carteret Primary and Secondary Schools
  • 11 plus tests no longer held after September 2019
  • Primary schools to feed into four Guernsey mainstream sites - Les Beaucamps, La Mare de Carteret, St Sampson's and the current Grammar School site at Les Varendes
  • Each secondary school to cater for about 600-720 pupils aged 11-16
  • The sites will be run by an executive head teacher, supported by a board of governors
  • All four sites to run the same curriculum for the first three years
  • During later years students may move school or work across two sites depending on their subject choices
  • Post-16 A-level and International Baccalaureate studies would continue to be delivered from the Les Varendes site and the College of Further Education would continue to offer BTEC courses and vocational qualifications
  • Funding for the grant-aided colleges could be reduced, by more than already planned, and replaced by a bursary scheme

The review of secondary education found a lack of accountability and called for the creation of school governing bodies, while in the primary sector it found reading ability had declined.

Education Minister Robert Sillars said: "[The 11 plus] is not an appropriate way to determine the future of our children's secondary education.

"It fails to deliver equality of opportunity, fairness or the sort of social mobility that was originally intended."

The written exams assess academic potential and help decide which pupils are offered places at the Grammar School or the grant-supported colleges.

Image caption An ongoing reduction in the grants given to the three independent colleges until 2019 has previously been agreed by the States

Deputy Sillars said: "We have designed our own solution for Guernsey. We do not have to slavishly follow what they do elsewhere.

"We are aiming to keep what is good about our education system but address some of the problems of inequality and fairness presented by our current selective process."

The Treasury and Resources Department has questioned the lack of costings in the report and suggests the costs of an executive head teacher and increased transport spending would see costs rise to £3.5m above current levels.

It said there was an "absence of compelling evidence" the proposals offer value to the Guernsey taxpayer.

The department has previously advocated the closure of one secondary school and increasing the size of the other three.

The proposals will be debated by the States in March.

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