Education President’s Election Speech

dudleyowenDeputy's Blog 2018

This is an Excerpt from the Hansard Transcript of the Election for Committee Presidents Monday 19th October 2020

The Deputy Greffier: Article II – Election of a President of the Committee for Education Sport & Culture.

The Bailiff: Members of the States, does anyone wish to propose another Member for this Presidency? Deputy Ferbrache.

Deputy Ferbrache: Sir, I propose Deputy Dudley-Owen.

The Bailiff: Is that nomination seconded?

Deputy St Pier: Delighted to second it, sir.

The Bailiff: Thank you very much Deputy St Pier. Any other nominations for this Presidency? Well what that means, Members of the States, is that we still have speeches but the vote will then be put to you aux voix. So I am going to invite the proposer of Deputy Dudley-Owen, Deputy Ferbrache to speak for up to five minutes.

Deputy Ferbrache: Sir, when I first met Deputy Dudley-Owen four and a half years ago I thought she was quirky, now I have known her for four and a half years I know she is quirky, but she is also extremely able. She is a person who listens, she is a person who empathises with people. I cannot
think of anybody that does not like her. But she is a person with strong views; she is a principle person; she is a person that unites people; she is a person who gets things done.

She really is the person for the right job at the right time. I am very glad that she will be I am sure elected unopposed because I think she will bring much to the States both in this term and hopefully in terms to come.

The Bailiff: Deputy Dudley-Owen you may address the Assembly for up to 10 minutes.

Deputy Dudley-Owen: Thank you, sir. I give great thanks for my proposer and seconder for this Presidency.

During the last term I sat on two committees concurrently – that of Economic Development and also Education, Sport & Culture. I ended my tenure on both as Vice-President I spent just shy of two years on the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture it was a steep learning curve and I learnt a huge amount about how our education system worked, our leisure centre, museums, archives and heritage buildings are managed the synergies and links with the mandates of all the other States’ committees.
Amongst them the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture has the broadest and most diverse mandate and it is those synergies and links as well as inter-dependencies which makes it the most important of States’ committees.

Our quality of education and supporting creative endeavour through art and culture feeds into the overall mental and physical health and wellbeing of the community. The success of our economy is dependent on the education and skills level of our workforce and especially that of our young
people and beyond.

It is upon this Committee that our future medium and long term success relies. The purpose of the Committee is to encourage human development by maximising opportunities for participation and excellence through education, learning, sport and culture at every stage of life.

Education often dominates the conversation around this Committee but please remember that the sports and culture including the arts, language, heritage and archive remit of the Committee are recognised as equally important because in their own right these areas add substance and
relevance to our community but also greater access to education.

I am standing today for the role of the President of the Committee not because of challenge I presented to the outgoing Committee and the pause and review. I am standing because I can bring a broader view to the mandate, bringing it closer and realising the inter-dependencies with the
policy areas of other committees.

I believe I can bring people together and to ensure positive working towards common goals in all areas. This is no poisoned chalice, it never has been, and I will work hard to show this to be true this term. I am excited at the prospect of returning to the Committee and to lead it with a capable
team alongside me. I have received keen expressions of interest to join me and I hope to nominate four of our colleagues on Wednesday.

I was one of the very few candidates at election to publish a CV and summary qualifications and I have relevant experience that stands me in good stead to lead this committee. I have a background in governance and I am a natural communicator who listens effectively and learns from others. I am very enthusiastic and have a personal interest in all areas of the Committee. I spent the last four years chairing sub-committees in the States as well as leading and successfully delivering on assigned policy areas. I have previously set up and rub my own businesses working with others at a
senior level. I have set up and led a mental health charity locally delivering services. I have good knowledge of how processes work in the States not just here in the Chamber but also in terms of policy development, budgeting, public accounts and service delivery.

In addition to this experience I have qualifications which prove my knowledge base and most recent of these is the IOD Directors Certificate in Company Direction and Deputy Burford can attest to that finance module not being for the faint hearted. I completed that qualification in spring and
885 I have a love of learning. I am constantly seeking to enhance my knowledge I understand the need for education to be lifelong, learning lifting from cradle to grave.

If elected I will embrace the 1,001 days Critical Agenda which many Members may have been introduced to for the first time by the fantastic Bright Beginning’s Family Centre during the election campaign. I was privileged to attend the launch of this initiative when it was introduced to Guernsey by Rachel Copeland and Dr Adrian Datta in 2016 recognising that the start of a child’s life is key to the success of that child early years and family support at this crucial time can make the positive difference in the life of every child in Guernsey.

There is an increased demand for services for families in crisis with young children and babies locally politically we need to look further into the future in terms of education and put support into the earliest of years, months and days of a child’s life, realising the importance strong and positive parenting has on the success of that child in later life.

Early intervention costs less financially and very importantly on a human level it costs less emotionally reducing the likelihood of trauma and a troubled life. This approach is a win for the child, a win for the family, a win for education, a win for the economy and a win for our community.

Last term I took on a lot of responsibility for policy development and was successful in delivering and advancing action in areas especially on Economic Development where I sat for the full four years and was able to see through work in finance, digital skills and retail. I want to draw on the
work that I have done and the connections I have in the industry to achieve closer working between education and business ensuring that our young adults in training are the best prepared that they can be for entering the world of work.

Cross-committee working relationships need to be strengthened with Economic Development, Employment & Social Security and Home Affairs. Delivering one of the most highly skilled work forces globally might seem overly ambitious but I do not believe it is and through collaborative working we can achieve this.

The synergy between sports, arts and culture mandate of the Committee with that of the mandate of Health & Social Care and Economic Development are clear, continued work with both committees is essential on shared policy areas.

I have mentioned the threads that run through from health and wellbeing and being active and participating in sports as well as the enrichment and social engagements that the arts bring to our everyday life, through to the community groups and social bonding our cultural heritage brings, but it is more than that, the sports, the arts, and our culture and heritage provide visitor attractions, they not only enrich our lives locally but also enrich our offering for the purposes of tourism, they are economic enablers, and this is where the Committee mandate again links with that of Economic
Development. I will work to ensure that the relationship here is developed and economic opportunities of sports, arts and culture tourism investment are recognised in the work we undertake.

Members and listeners, sir, will note that I have not mentioned yet the burning issue of the school model yet to be fulfilled. One of the first jobs of the Committee will be to look at the draft review that was circulated late last week by the outgoing Committee to understand the underlining
assumptions, principles, facts and figures upon which it is based. I would like to work this up into a presentable format to deliver this informally to States’ Members and communicate it widely to stakeholders, teachers, support staff, their unions, the students, parents and wider community as
soon as possible.

We all need to pull together on this quickly in order to deliver a resolution that Guernsey has too long awaited. I spent time liaising with senior officers and our Director of Education to understand work in progress. The transformation of education which deals with the delivery model is topical and very important, but it is just one of many work streams based on extant Resolutions that are being undertaken in committee, amongst the Guernsey Institute, delivery of the Education Law, the digital roadmap, the review of special educational needs delivery, the Guernsey Language Commission, the Sports Strategy and more.

Now in closing I will mention one area that has not been addressed politically over successive terms that of the purpose for which we are educating our children. So I pose a question here and now to sow the seed and ask why do we educate our children? My answer is this. We educate our children to make them valuable contributors to our community. I believe that it is from this defined purpose that we need to work backwards to identify the how and the what, the how we make them valuable contributors and the what we need to do to achieve this purpose. The Committee addressing this fundamental question will enable us to logically deal with much of the work in education. Not only the issue of the model.

We must ensure that educational outcomes have a purpose and are never reliant solely on school buildings. In addressing the purpose we will also be able to identify the best support we can deliver for our education staff to enable them to successfully teach and provide for them the most attractive and stable working conditions. Having the most capable teachers and support staff with a high rate of retention means that we can create the best environment and opportunities for our children to learn.

It is, sir, after all upon this committee that our medium and long term success relies.

I ask Members please to support me today in my bid to be Guernsey President for Education Sport & Culture.”