12 November 2010
The Council of Ministers has agreed to extend the timescale for considering proposals to reduce the Education Department’s subsidies to fee-paying schools. The Education Minister has proposed this to allow time for a meaningful consultation with schools over the proposed reduction in funding.
Deputy James Reed said “I am proposing to delay that aspect of my department’s savings proposals to allow a longer consultation period, as I recognise the timescales are tight.
“I would then propose any changes in June 2011, as part of the 2012 Business Plan. This will give States Members the opportunity to fully debate the issue.
"If there are to be changes in school subsidies they would not be implemented until the 2012 financial year, not September 2011 as originally proposed.”
At their meeting, ministers re-affirmed their determination to deliver the £65 million of savings agreed during the Comprehensive Spending Review. As part of this programme of work ministers also support the Education Department’s review of subsidies to fee-paying schools and agree that any changes should be delivered over a longer period of time.
The Council of Ministers is committed to improving the learning opportunities for all children in the island, in which both fee-paying and non fee-paying schools play an equally important part.
Deputy Reed added “In allowing more time to discuss the proposals I hope I can work with schools to develop a more flexible solution to the funding issue which will minimise any impact on parents and pupils.
“In the meantime, I am pleased to say that ministers have agreed to support my department in meeting our existing savings target for 2011.”
The Chief Minister, Senator Terry Le Sueur, said “The Council of Ministers has discussed the proposals to make savings by reducing grants to fee-paying schools. We have concluded that all areas of States spending must make a fair contribution to savings and fee-paying schools will not be immune from this.
“However, we have also agreed that we will give sufficient time to ensure that the schools and parents are able to cope with the effect of these savings.”