Start Dates for New Schools and Additional Half Day

A meeting was held yesterday afternoon at No 6 Convent Place, chaired by the Minister for Education, John Cortes, and attended by the Government’s Chief Technical Officer, the Director of Education and Senior Education Advisor, the senior teaching teams of Bayside and Westside Schools and the NASUWT Union representatives of both schools. Also present for part of the meeting were representatives of the contractors, Casais.

There were detailed discussions on the plan for getting the schools ready to receive the children, conscious of the fact that there is a large amount of material to place, both from the former sites and new equipment, and of the fact that it is important that the first day in school is a positive experience for students.

It was agreed between all the parties that it was in the best interest of, particularly students, to delay the full opening of the school to Monday 16th September. The implications on teaching and learning were discussed at length and all were unanimous in that there would be no significant negative impact on education.

Bayside and Westside Schools will therefore start to receive pupils on Monday 16th. This will also apply to St Anne’s School. Full joining details by school year will be released next week.

Commenting on the decision, the Minister for Education stated, “The first day in a new school is a day that most children remember for the rest of their lives. All of us involved in Education want to make sure that it’s a special day. Teachers have a lot of work to do to get things ready, and some areas require further work especially in furniture assemblage and cleaning. We all felt that it would be best all round to open a few days later. I am reassured that this will not have significant effects on learning although of course families will need to make arrangements for a few more days.

I have spent many hours in the schools over the last few days and the commitment of all the teachers is impressive. Faced with a tremendous challenge they are responding with great determination and positivity and I am so grateful to them, including the senior teams and the Union School reps. The support staff, including cleaners, technicians and admin are also there, working hard, but excited at the workplaces that they now have and how this will change so many young people’s lives for the better.”

In addition Government has announced that exceptionally this coming Monday 9th September will be a school half day with full days for schools which are now open commencing on 11th.