By J. Brock (FINN)
A public meeting took place at 1700hrs on Monday, 17 February 2014 in the Street at the Falkland Islands Community School. All members of Legislative Assembly were present.
The main topic, Education, was presented by Dr the Hon Barry Elsby, MLA, who spoke for five minutes and outlined aspects of Leadership, Infant/Junior School, Community School, Safeguarding, Special Educational Needs, Further and Higher Education, New Education Ordinance and Child protection.
The Director of Education, Annie Tempest, gave a brief presentation and then took questions.
The member of the public continued with asking whether the CDS would help unemployed people by offering training and incentives for them to achieve employment at the end of training. She went on to ask whether people actually got money from the CDS and were there any records. Was the programme advertised?
Annie Tempest said that the CDS was allied to skills shortages. The tool used at the moment is an audit by immigration and policy units. There is a list of skills across the Islands that are seen as paramount to support. Teachers, Medical Doctors and Nurses are on the list. She went on to say that when she came there were three funding streams moulded into one stream and that had just happened when she came. She hopes the change makes access to those funds a lot easier. This is where the Community Development Scheme comes in. At the moment money, figures and statistics are being worked on.
Barry Elsby said that FIG is actually spending money in that people are getting funding and they are developing. MLAs are going to look at whether the spending is getting results. The training needs analysis is out to tender and due back in 3 months and it will help MLAs to target the money. The limited amount of money means education options had to be targeted.
The member of the Public mentioned the high return rate of students that had been away for higher education. She asked whether there were statistics on whether they were working in their chosen profession. Barry Elsby said the figures were inadequate to assess this and he suggested an increased need for career guidance. Students need to be guided from Junior School to think about careers and if they are relevant for the Falklands. A list of needed qualifications would be available for students to help them make decisions.
Would there be milestones to look at to mark achievements? Where would the research be used and when?
Ms Tempest said the answer was layered. It begins with a training audit, a Vulnerable Persons Strategy, an ordinance all those things are happening now. She agreed with the guidance aspect of finding appropriate careers for students. This would be part of the training strategy and putting the statistics out to the public at an appropriate time.
Directorates have a role to play in linking up pieces to create a policy. Analysis can be achieved and studied with work already done.
Another member of the public asked how that would link into the private sector and Annie Tempest said both the training audit and the CDS will link into the private sector as the private sector would be looked at as well as the public sector. With all the information gathered needed data will be forthcoming.
If Barry Elsby and Annie Tempest have anything to do with it the scheme will work.