29 September 2014
The States of Jersey and the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in Jersey, have agreed a framework for a ground-breaking social partnership.
National union representatives from the UK signed the agreement, which has been the result of an ongoing constructive dialogue between the States and the NASUWT. It summarises the aspirations of both parties for a new way of working to ensure the education service in Jersey delivers the entitlement of all children and young people to high quality educational opportunities.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said “There are major challenges for education, and the workforce is at the heart of meeting these. This agreement demonstrates that the States of Jersey recognise that the school workforce is central to providing the high standards of education to which all children and young people are entitled.
“At its heart is an understanding that establishing good working conditions for teachers and the provision of high-quality learning experiences for pupils are not mutually exclusive goals.
“Far-sighted governments have learned lessons from the adversarial and confrontational policy agenda favoured by the Westminster Coalition, which deliberately pits the legitimate interests of pupils against those of teachers and school leaders, and has served to undermine rather than support work to maintain a world-class education system in England.
“The social partnership in Jersey provides a unique opportunity to avoid these errors and to move forward in a way that gives practical effect to the shared commitment of the States and NASUWT to realising the potential of all children and young people.”
The NASUWT President, Geoff Branner, said “Through the constructive framework for change this agreement puts in place, Jersey now has an unprecedented opportunity to ensure that the talents, dedication and professionalism of teachers and school leaders can be recognised, rewarded and directed to ensuring that every one of its children and young people can achieve and succeed.”
Jersey’s Chief Minister, Senator Ian Gorst, said “UK teachers have been critical of the UK Government over the scale and timing of curriculum and exam changes. However, Jersey’s political independence has enabled it to have a more positive relationship with its teaching workforce and we have an exciting opportunity to build on this for the benefit of our children.
"I am delighted we can move forward in a way that will be a positive benefit to the Island’s children. The education partnership has been established to support the continuing development of an effective education system by building a positive relationship with our teaching workforce.”
Jersey’s Director of Education, Justin Donovan, added “This agreement recognises the importance of high-quality staff and the vital role they play in achieving high standards. We have to aim for the best possible teaching and management because this leads to the best possible learning for our children. Working closely with the unions will help us get there sooner.
“This is good news for Jersey children. Any improvements we make in the working lives and professionalism of teachers will have a direct impact on what happens in our classrooms. Ultimately we want to support teachers to deliver a creative, inspiring education to every single one of our young people.”