In June last year, the Legislative Council approved the SHG budget for 2023-2024. To provide a better understanding of how that money was spent, throughout the year we have focused on individual portfolios and their plans for the year. At the end of last year we looked at the allocation for Central Support Services, and this week we’ll be covering the Education, Skills and Employment (ESE) Portfolio.

The SHG budget for 2023-2024 allocated £47,072,000 for recurrent and capital expenditure. Of this figure, ESE was allocated £3,585 000. This means that of the six portfolios included in the 2023-2024 Budget Book, ESE received 7.6% of the SHG recurrent budget.

What are ESE’s strategic aims?

Whilst all portfolios contribute to the five national goals, expenditure for ESE’s 2023-2024 budget primarily supports the national ‘Altogether Better for Children and Young People’ and ‘Altogether Wealthier’. To deliver this, ESE’s work programmes contribute to five of SHG’s 33 strategic objectives.

To support these national goals and strategic objectives, ESE is pursuing five main policy priority areas within the SHG Vision and Strategy Plan 2022-2025, which are informing and directing its work programmes. These are:

  • Enhancing educational attainment and learning outcomes for all.
  • Empowering young people to access opportunities.
  • Ensuring children and adults with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) and Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs are catered for through a comprehensive inclusion policy. This puts an ever growing pressure on Social Care to provide care and support, either in the community, or at one of the island’s care facilities.
  • Addressing skills gaps by valuing the local workforce and attracting, growing, and retaining the working age population.
  • Improving adult literacy and numeracy levels through relevant training and development programmes.

Where will ESE’s allocation be spent?

Of ESE’s £3,585,000 total budget, £2,414,258 is allocated for schools, the largest expenditure for the portfolio.

The ESE Portfolio provides the core service of full time education to all children on St Helena who are of compulsory school age (Reception to Year 11). We operate an inclusive system of education which ensures that all children, no matter their ability, circumstances, special educational needs or disability, have opportunity to access mainstream education. We also ensure ongoing training and development of our teaching staff.

Nursery education for children aged three to four years and opportunity for post school learning for 16 to 18 year olds (Year 12 and Year 13), which increases opportunity to access tertiary education, are additional non-core services offered by ESE.

If you would like more information about any areas of the ESE Portfolio’s work, please get in touch with Angela Benjamin, Head of Lifelong Learning, by email through angela.benjamin@sainthelena.gov.sh or by telephone on 22607.

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