Education: States Members should be embarrassed, says Minister in parting shot

EVERY States Member of the past 20 years should be ‘embarrassed’ by Jersey’s education system, outgoing Education Minister Patrick Ryan has said.

Education Minister Patrick Ryan

The Deputy, who is standing down after three years in office, says that the Island’s ‘socially divisive’ education system cannot be allowed to continue.

Full report in the weekend edition of the JEP. 


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Comments for: "Education: States Members should be embarrassed, says Minister in parting shot"


Well said Patrick Ryan. Jersey's education system is a skewed political fudge; part state subsidized public schools; part church schools; part grammar school; part middle schools; part unashamed secondary modern.

Even the so called entrance examinations are fudged. A hard look at 'results' would see 30-40% of the so called elite pupils relegated to the second tier of education, much to the revulsion of their influential and well well-off parents.

Jersey is anything but a meritocracy.


If 'well said', why has he not raised the profile of this issue until very recently? Is this just trying to protect his legacy after the very pointed remarks reported from the IoD? Agreed: the system does look strange, and very probably needs improvement.



On what evidence do you have to label the entrance examinations as fudged... A quick look on the Vic College website and you will notice that practise papers (which are typical of the entrance exam level and format) are publicly available!

Moreover you state that a 'hard look at 'results' would see 30-40% of the so called elite pupils relegated to the second tier of education'. Have you had such a hard look? I'm not sure you have....

Baked Beanz

As if it only concerned education !!!


Problems stem from poor government leadership and as far as education is concerned why do we have someone successful in sales of cars responsible for a department that requires huge knowledge and experience in education to lead it.

The solution must be that every government minister should be voted into a ministry by an Island wide vote. The result of this would be only high caliber candidates would step foreword to do a job that requires expertise.

But presently a small elite is more concerned to protect their interests rather than public interest.

Wilson Riou

Ah Gino (AKA I can save you all £250 million)

Using your analogy why would we want a sandwich seller to implement a system of controls to increase transparency and accountability in the States? Please be sure to answer this - thank you.

I'm not aware of any democracy where the minister is expected to have detailed knowledge of his/her department as that is the role of the executive. The Minister's responsibility is for policy (hint that's why it's called politics). I thought you would know this as an aspiring politician.

Sorry to go off topic but now you are back online can you do us all the favour of telling us (in a transparent and accountable way) how you intend to save taxpayers £250 million a year?

Casual Observer

Rather a self-defeating post Gino. By your own analysis, in standing for Deputy one can only assume that a) you are not a sufficiently high caliber candidate; b) that you lack expertise and c) that you too are looking to protect your own interests by securing an easy seat as a Deputy.

If, as you suggest, radical change is needed, then you might well make a start by standing as Senator, making clear that you want a Ministerial portfolio and then being in a position where you are empowered to effect change and can lead by example.


I am very pleased to hear that someone within the states is finally brave enough to present this unassailable truth. Very sad that this bravery only comes after resigning from the post. Will we ever have a states assembly which supports a single education system fit for all in Jersey, not just those who are 'clever' enough or wealthy enough?

You are right Patrick Ryan, it's an embarrassment. I have read all the manifestos from the senatorial candidates, no one brave enough to change the system, just expect higher standards. It's a disgrace.


With no disrespect intended. Why would you think that a person that is experienced in car sales is the right man to head up education.

Wilson Riou


With no disrespect intended, I will repeat my earlier question. Why would we want a sandwich seller to implement a system of controls to increase transparency and accountability in the States?

Please be sure to answer this - thank you.


I never said he was. But I am pleased he has spoken out. It is far too little too late, but maybe this will pave the way for a solution in the future.



You of course have an agenda. What I offer is the ability to fix a system of government that currently is falling apart.

Wilson Riou


You preach accountability and yet can't or won't answer very simple questions that are made in response to your public statements. You refuse to be accountable yourself. In these circumstances how can the electorate possibly trust you?

So one more time;

How will you save £250 million each year?

Since you mad this rash promise you have avoided answering this question a number of times by changing the subject and accusing your electorate of having agendas!


And Wilson

Take a break, a long one. Become a monk your brain needs a rest.

Wilson Riou

I'm doing just fine. Don't you worry yourself on my account - but thanks for the sentiment!


Back to insulting people when they prove you wrong Gino? Not something we want from an aspiring politician.

If you can intelligently respond to Wilson Riou or Myself on the issues of transparency you put forward, then you would earn respect. Ignoring the obvious issues and telling people to go away earns the opposite.

Your idea to "fix a system of government that currently is falling apart" has many more serious faults, and you refuse to comment on those faults. You do not offer a solution, but bigger problems. If you cannot understand that, then perhaps selling sandwiches is the best place for you.

C Le Verdic

'If you can intelligently respond to Wilson Riou or Myself...'

Surely only you, yourself, can respond (intelligently or otherwise) to yourself? The use of a capital there is also rather grandiose.

Do you have a problem with using the word 'me'? I use it all the time (when it is the appropriate word) and I was educated in Jersey!


I’m sorry C Le Verdic, I was also educated in Jersey, it doesn’t mean that I did very well in English classes. In fact, I often have to run a spell check over my posts, just in case. Computer assisted communication aside, how does the small grammar mistakes make the point more difficult to understand?

A misplaced capital letter or mixing "me", "myself" or "I" is not the biggest mistake I have ever made, but if it excites any Grammar Nazis out there, then at least someone has read my comment.

It still doesn’t explain how putting your (or my) personal tax information, earnings and social security payments online for anyone to see will save the Government 2/5ths of its total expenditure.

I’m still waiting for Gino to explain that.


Well he had three years to do something, lots of 'reports' consultations, white papers, green papers, yet nothing was forthcoming at all

Lots of candidates Deputies and Senators say lots of things about improving this that and the other but rarely do they say how they will achieve it.

Fully agree senators only for minister positions, at least they would have some votes.

As for education and changes well depends how brave the new person wants to be really.

No 14 plus. One sixth form for the whole island, that would save some money! Improve funding to Highlands to provide more vocational qualifications, not everyone want to work in finance.

No grants for university fees to those from lower income families, just make it loans for all and then those in the middle who at the moment can't afford it have the opportunity would help those if their parents are unwilling to pay too.

For the lower income families a grant towards maintenance only.

That way if students have to pay it back they will think seriously about their choice. It's also fairer, none of the hiding of income to get grants etc.

well that's my thoughts anyone else?


I do not agree with absolutely everything, but there is a lot of sense in here. Why have we got to where we are? Ministers, please explain!

constables out

Pete 1.53pm

Stuart Syvret tried to tell the truth & look what happened to him!!


And James Reed.


Stuart Syvret tried to use the law to beat them. They are the law so it was always going to be difficult.

The first door to open is financial accountability which is the life blood that forms the relationships. When this is broken everything will organically change.

This is embarrassing that people from Europe speak 1,2 or 3 foreign languages.


What has Patrick Ryan done about university student loans? We have a non repayable grant system that helps those with parents on low incomes, subsidized by middle income tax payers and is not repayable even if the graduate goes on to achieve high earnings. On the other hand, we have middle income groups,mother and father working, whose children don't qualify for either a grant or a repayable loan. Jersey and the other Channel Islands are intrinsically linked, as British Islands to the UK's education system and follow that curriculum and yet are treated as second class citizens. Students from non EU countries like Switzerland and others from Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands, children of Turkish workers, have achieved student loans status and yet Patrick Ryan's department have done nothing to tackle this inequality. Patrick Ryan complains about his own department and yet he fails to tackle the end result. No hope and no future for some unless their parents pay.And err dependent on their split up parent's live in lovers' or step parent's income, who they might not like....


You are exactly right. However no one has challenged the ordinary residence clause on UK student loans, a job for the many in the chief minister office, which, seems to have grown and grown, like Topsy.


Patrick Ryan should tackle this problem. His department seem to have their heads in the sand, fixated on grants for some, but wary of sticking their heads above the parapet to support a fairer repayable loans system.


Well said Wilson Riou, by your analogy we should get rid of most of the senior civil servants of the Ministries that are 'failing'. Housing, education, Health, economic development, chief ministers office and I am sure there are others, plus their number 2's no pun intended when we have got rid of theta load of sh**** (Shmuks) we would be getting very near to Gino's savings if one takes all the outside consultants into the equasion.

Wilson Riou

If you took out the costs of the chief executive and his/her no. 2 from all ten government departments you would save £3 million. But not really a viable option!

I can't find costs for outside consultants in the 2013 States' accounts but even if it was another £3 million it still leaves Gino with £245 million of savings to find.

No wonder he has gone to ground - it was an idiotic thing to say.

One more reason to vote for him - not.



Clearly you are trying without success to win an itelectual argument.

Your crass miss understandings makes you look foolish.

Wilson Riou


You know full well that there is no misunderstanding and I'm not trying to have an 'intelectual (sic) argument'.

I'm trying to get you to explain to us all how you can save the island £250m a year. A statement on which you were asking people to vote for you.

So far you've tried ignoring these requests, changing the subject, accusing the questioners of having agendas (called shooting the messenger) and now saying we are foolish.

These are the tactics of seasoned politicians, when put on the spot, and is typical of the cynical approach that many of us want changed. We don't expect it from a fresh candidate for the States.

If you can't be honest with your electorate before you are elected what hope is there after?

We are looking for candidates that are open and honest, transparent and accountable for what they do and say. It's your job to inspire sufficient confidence and trust to earn a vote.

It's pretty obvious that you got the £250m a year (nearly the total cost of Health and Social Security combined) wrong, just admit it.

If you've forgotten what you said it's here:


September 25, 2014 8:11 pm

if government departments put payments online with searchable data bases we would probably save £250 million a year. Imagine what one could do with that!

It may be a reason to vote for me


The schools are now overcrowded, thanks to years of open door immigration. Many of the children cannot even speak English - this just adds to the problems.

The real big issue today is - how can Jersey continue to function with 20% and 5% GST when people seem to expect English standards and large numbers of people on low wages pay no tax.

Are people going to accept English levels of taxation to fund all these desires??


If the questions were intelligent I would respond. For instance I have written that we need financial accountability. The question to ask is why is it do we not already have financial accountability. The obvious answer is that the top table demands that you do not have it because it would make them accountable gor all the miss management of public money that they of course is responsible

Wilson Riou


You say 'if the questions were intelligent I would respond'. Previously you said you could save Jersey £250 m a year and suggested it might be a reason to vote for you.

All I have ever said in essence is 'that's a very big number and a seemingly impossible target, how will you do that?'

Put aside for a minute whether it's an intelligent question, under the circumstances (you go to the hustings tomorrow) it seems a very reasonable question.

Please do us all the courtesy (that we'd expect of a prospective candidate) of a reasonable reply to the question - How will you do that?


If your comments were intelligent, Gino, we wouldn’t need to respond.

For example, you have stated many times that we need *full* financial accountability, that we must have cheque book spending of taxpayers money online. To quote you "Without this we are doomed to misery"

An intelligent question, do you deny that you have said this?

One point of contention is that Social security sickness benefit is paid by cheque. Income tax overpayment is paid by cheque.

An intelligent question, How is public, online details of peoples personnel and confidential social security details or Income tax details of any benefit?

If you refuse to answer these simple questions, then it proves that you have not thought about the devastating effects of your demand for financial accountability. As this is your main election point, then it would be obvious that your failure to review this topic effectively is the reason why you have been entirely ineffective at obtaining a States seat.

How can you be trusted with public money if you propose to reveal confidential information to the public? How can you be trusted if you cannot respond to simple questions?


Wasn't he actually Education minister for the last three years?