Guernsey’s education system provides free schooling for all students up to the age of eighteen. There are also three Grant Aided Colleges (Ladies College, Elizabeth College and Blanchelande Girl’s College), which provide for fee‑paying students. School is compulsory for all children between the ages of five and sixteen. The private sector also provides a number of pre‑school facilities for all children.
Schools are well‑resourced, pupil‑teacher ratios are very good and class sizes are, in the main, smaller than in the UK. The education system is based on the English National Curriculum and standards in general are high.
The States of Guernsey Education Department is mid‑way through a major capital rebuilding programme with 5 new‑build projects already completed, including two new special needs schools, a new high school, sixth form centre and Performing Arts Centre.
The Department is making a multi‑million pound investment in ICT, with laptops for all teachers, a broadband e‑learning infrastructure and a ratio of computers to pupils of 1:5 in Primary and 1:3 in Secondary.
A selection process for secondary education takes place during the last year in primary school and the majority of children will be awarded places at the high school in their catchment area. Approximately 25% of children who are assessed as being of high academic ability and aptitude will be considered for a place at either the Grammar School or at one of the Grant Aided Colleges as a special place holder.
At sixteen all pupils in Guernsey are offered the opportunity to pursue courses leading to A Level, AS Level, vocational qualifications, apprenticeships or other full‑time courses.
Pupils in the Grant Aided Colleges may continue to follow courses in their own institutions, but all pupils are eligible for entry to either the Grammar School Sixth Form or to the College of Further Education, as long as they achieve the minimum entry qualifications.
Special Educational Needs – Wherever possible, pupils with special educational needs, including physical disabilities, are integrated with support into mainstream schools.
For those whose educational needs cannot be met in mainstream schools, the Department maintains two special schools, one for primary‑age pupils and one for secondary‑age. Both cater for pupils with moderate learning difficulties with additional needs, severe learning difficulties and complex needs and are co‑located with mainstream schools.
Higher Education Awards – The Education Department grants awards to assist students resident in Guernsey who enrol on higher education courses in the UK. Full details of these awards and eligibility can be found in the Guide to Higher Education Awards, available from the Grants Section at the Education Office or the Higher Education Funding section of the website www.education.gg