Skip to content

Education Law Review


Education Law outlines what parents and children can expect of an Education system, including what students are entitled to and what Education settings are responsible for.

Guernsey’s current Education Law was agreed in the 1970s but based on UK legislation from the 1940s and some elements of educational practice date as far back as the turn of the century. An urgent review of the current Education Law was recommended as part of the 2012 Mulkerrin review of education in Guernsey.

At the 21 June 2023 States meeting, Deputies were asked to approve an Education Law Review. If the propositions had been passed, the Law Officers would have drafted a new Education Law based on the policy letter anticipated to go in effect in September 2025.

Following a barrage of successful amendments, ESC withdrew the policy paper for further consideration.


Quick digest

To understand the new law quickly, watch the videos and read the FAQs on the page.



Amendment 1  – clarifies that parents may decide to home school their child at any point. CARRIED 27-9.

Amendment 2  – removes means-testing for the cost of exams for students who are home-schooled. CARRIED 28-8.

Amendment 3 – promotes a collaborative approach with home-schooling families when the Committee decides on the frequency and extent of monitoring and support visits. CARRIED 26-7.

St Pier/Bury
Amendment 4 – ensures that age-appropriate sexual health and relationship education is included in the law. NOT LAID.

St Pier/Soulsby
Amendment 5 – adds term limits for school governors. NOT LAID.

Soulsby/Le Tocq
Amendment 6 – repeals the Ladies College (Guernsey) Law 1962, particularly the requirement for LC governors to be approved by the States. CARRIED 32-4.

Matthews/De Lisle
Amendment 7 – removes fixed penalty fines for non-school attendance. CARRIED 25-11.

Amendment 8 – complex amendment that seeks to push back on ESC control of the colleges. SEVENTEEN VOTES, ALL CARRIED.

Amendment 9 – further pushback on ESC control of the colleges. NOT LAID.

St Pier/Trott
Amendment 10 – remove remuneration for Chairs of Boards of Governors. NOT LAID.

Amendment 11 – corrects typos. CARRIED 35-0.

Amendment 12 – ESC to bring back proposals for more devolution of powers to the proposed governing bodies. CARRIED 22-14.

Amendment 13 – consult with key stakeholders in the process of drafting the legislation. CARRIED 31-5.

Amendment 14 – removes legal commitment for the all-age careers service to be free. NOT LAID.

Amendment 15 – adds the requirement for States approval of the post-consultation drafting instructions to Amendment 13. CARRIED 22-14.

Amendment 16 – corrects a typo. NOT LAID.

Amendment 17 – adds requirement for ESC to consider parental choice of school when managing allocation of children to States schools. NOT LAID.

Amendment 18 – rewrites the proposition for governance boards to give schools more autonomy to choose their own model. NOT LAID.


Motion to withdraw

Dudley-Owen/Haskins – CARRIED 27-9


Looking in more depth

1. In March 2023, ESC ran a consultation survey for parents, teachers and the wider public on various aspects of the new law. The results of that consultation are in the appendices to the policy paper. You can read them HERE.

2. One fundamental change in the new law is the introduction of Governance Boards for each school (school governors). This shifts responsibility for 20 education settings, and 7,000 students, away from the political committee. The details of how the Governance Boards will be organised are in an annex to the policy paper HERE.

3. Read the full policy document. The table of contents is on page 12, with Additional Learning Needs (SEND) on page 38 and Home Education on page 45.

4. Compare with the current Guernsey Education Law from 1970.



“Education Law proposals were virtually ready – where are they?” (15 Jan 2021, Bailiwick Express)

FOCUS: The arguments for reforming the Education Law (24 Feb 2021, Bailiwick Express)

Education Law has not been scrapped, says ESC president (27 Feb 2021, Guernsey Press)

New plans for school governors secure support at meeting (19 Jan 2023, Guernsey Press)

New Education Law has been finalised (5 May 2023, Guernsey Press)

New proposals made for ‘outdated’ Guernsey Education Law (5 May 2023, BBC Guernsey)


Other useful information

School governors in UK

Jersey Education Law 1999

Guernsey and Alderney SEND Review 2021 (SEND = special educational needs and/or disabilities)



Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

Sign up to our newsletter 

The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

Sign up to our newsletter