I believe we must avoid prolonged uncertainty about education. I will not seek to reopen the debate about selection, and will work to ensure the future of the secondary schools is resolved quickly and fairly, with an open, public process for decision-making. I will push for the inclusion of young people on the panels that evaluate the options and make recommendations. Young people have spoken out with courage and insight on all sides of the debate – they’ve earned the right to be heard.
I want an education system which serves all our young people well, and helps us to “grow our own” talented workforce. I will advocate policies which:
- Encourage achievement of the highest standards at all the island’s schools
- Offer a quality of education which is internationally competitive
- Raise the value of technical and vocational skills alongside academic achievement
- Promote young people’s wellbeing, personal growth, and interest in the wider world
We must also make Guernsey an attractive place to live and work for young people – including those who aspire to get onto the housing market, or to raise a family of their own. For my generation, these opportunities often feel remote at best – for too many, this means that settling down in Guernsey is not currently an option.
Finally, we must be ambitious for our working age population, promoting greater equality of opportunity and participation. There is a powerful, positive social and economic impact if more people contribute to the workforce, especially at a time when the population is ageing. I will make this a priority, focusing on:
- Parents – making the case for affordable and accessible childcare
- Disability – challenging attitudes and barriers that limit access to employment and services
- Mental health – raising awareness, tackling stigma and providing support
- Carers – creating a system that supports flexible working