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Victoria College may follow JCG with an increase in fees

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SCHOOL fees for students at both Victoria College schools could increase, it has emerged, after a 12.5% rise in costs was announced for Jersey College for Girls pupils last week.

Victoria College Picture: DAVID FERGUSON. (25472198)

The JEP has learned that discussions are ongoing between the governing bodies for Victoria College and the government. A spokeswoman for the Education Minister said an agreement on how much the fees would go up by would ‘follow shortly’.

Last week it was announced that fees for JCG and its preparatory school would go up by 12.5% in 2020 – costing parents hundreds of pounds extra a year. The fee increases span two academic years.

Treasury Minister Susie Pinel has signed a ministerial decision authorising the new fees for JCG and Jersey College Preparatory as recommended by the schools’ governing body. The rise comprises a 7.5% increase from January and a further 5% in September. Sources say the initial 7.5% increase was due to be imposed in September this year but was delayed.

A government spokeswoman said the delay was due to a disagreement between the school and the government about how much fees needed to rise.

Asked what the extra money was needed for, the spokeswoman for the Children, Young People, Education and Skills Department said it was partly to deal with the impact of cuts to States-funded school subsidies set out in the last Medium Term Financial Plan. In the MTFP the amount the government put forward for schooling a child at a States-funded school dropped from 50% to 47% at secondary schools and 25% to 22% for primary schools.

The spokeswoman added that money was also needed to:

  • Combat increased costs due to inflation.
  • Continue investment in student wellbeing and safeguarding.

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  • Invest in teaching resources, curriculum development and IT provision.
  • Refurbish classrooms, outdoor areas and replace equipment and furniture.

Following the decision, the fees will be £1,822 for the autumn term and £1,960 from January at JCG, and £1,761 and £1,893 respectively at JCP.

For the academic year starting September 2020, fees will be £2,058 per term at JCG and £1,988 at JCP.

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When compared to the autumn-term rate for 2019, in the school year beginning September 2020 parents would pay an extra £708 per child per year at JCG and £681 for JCP.

The government spokeswoman said there were no concerns that fee hikes would start to make education at fee-paying States school unaffordable.

‘The fees of JCG and JCP remain the lowest fees charged of the Island’s fee-paying schools.

‘The Board of Governors is committed to providing financial assistance with fees to ensure that all students who meet their criteria are able to attend and benefit from a JCG secondary education irrespective of their family’s financial background.

‘They have reviewed the bursary policy for financial assistance which has been increased from £47,000 total household income to £60,000.

The increase which takes effect in January 2020 is £11.50 per month for JCG and £11.00 per month for JCP.’

Under Article 13a of the Education (Jersey) Law 1999 and the States anti-inflation strategy, increases in fees and charges should be limited to 2.5% per year, with ‘compelling cases’ subject to the approval of the Treasury Minister, hence the ministerial decision.

Education Minister Tracey Vallois has also approved the increases.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
author

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