New schools opening delayed
The opening of the new Bayside, Westside and St Anne's schools has been delayed until Monday, September 16.
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, September 16. 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.
The new schools were initially set to open on Wednesday, September 11.
Bayside and Westside Schools will now start to receive pupils on September 16. 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 manyhours in the schoolsover the lastfewdays and the commitmentof allthe 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 atthe workplaces thatthey 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, September 9 will be a school half day with full days for schools which are now open commencing on September 11.