The monthly meeting of the Education Committee was held on Wednesday, 17 October 2018.

The Committee was introduced to the new French Advisory Teacher, Jennifer Ratcliffe, who shared her extensive experience in teaching French as a foreign language to students across Key Stages 2 to 5. Prior to becoming a teacher, Jennifer worked in over twelve countries in the field of Tourism conducting all business, written and verbal in French. She has also taught Spanish and German at Key Stage 3 and looks forward to working with the St Helena Community College (SHCC) in facilitating adult classes.

The Committee considered options for the introduction of a tiered Charging Policy for courses, which would distinguish between ‘Local’ and ‘Non-Local’ fees. The Committee agreed on the proposed tiered structure in which candidates, who meet the criteria for ‘Local’ fees, are charged at the subsidised rate, and all other candidates are charged ‘Non-Local’ fees. ‘Non-Local’ fees are set to cover the full cost of the course.

It was agreed however that the core provision in Literacy, Numeracy and basic IT (not including Professional Studies IT Courses up to Level 2) remain free of charge to members of the community. This includes English, Maths, functional skills and GCSE courses (ECDL for example).

Members were advised as to the current status of work to revise the Education Ordinance. At present, work is underway to complete a consolidated working document that reflects the progress already made in revising this legislation, and that document should be complete by the end of November 2018.

The Draft Strategic Plan and Proposed Budget for 2019-2022 was presented to the Committee and discussions followed under the closed agenda.

Strategic Priorities are as follows:

Priority 1 – Better learning outcomes: Improving student attainment and achievement at all levels, particularly in the key areas of literacy and numeracy

Priority 2 – Inclusive schools: Working to ensure that schools are welcoming and inclusive learning environments that provide opportunities for all students to achieve

Priority 3 – Teacher Training: Continued support for the training and upskilling of new and serving teaching staff to support better teaching and learning in schools

Priority 4 – SHCC: Working through the SHCC to provide opportunities for training and development to meet the needs of St Helenians and the developing economy of St Helena

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26 October 2018

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