My husband, Richard, worked as a primary school teacher for 15 years. I have seen first hand how the demands of an increasing workload is impacting on teachers, which ultimately impacts on the children in their care.
The demand for more data and record keeping is a major pressure. Teachers are expected to deliver more accurate tracking, measurement, recording, and reporting, all of which have eaten into preparation time as meeting attainment grades have become driving forces for improvement.
Other demands on teachers have been added through the extra social roles and legal responsibilities that schools have taken on to ensure children are safe. These include safeguarding and child protection; that they are properly fed and supported emotionally and physically. Consequently, teachers have been required to learn a range of new policies and procedures delivered mainly through inset or training days at a pace that is almost unsustainable.
We must invest more to support future creative learning for every child and the necessary support, financing and recognition teaching staff deserve.
I believe the States Assembly should launch a feasibility study assessing the benefits of a recognised University in Jersey. One solution would be to find ways to continually support and invest in Highlands Collage with the possibility of developing this as a University for the island.
We must ensure all students are encouraged to develop and achieve the skills that the local economy requires. A Jersey University could leverage the local expertise in both finance and tourism, but also reinvigorate our agriculture and marine economies as well. Jersey needs new young and motivated blood to create the wealth and innovation that is required for our changing economy of the future.