The future funding of the colleges

The States of Guernsey agreed in 2012 to gradually reduce the level of grant aid to the colleges over a seven year period. In 2016 the decision was made to move away from selection at 11 and cease the funding of 52 special place holders per school year across the three colleges. Discussions have taken place over the future level of States funding.

The Three Colleges have been unable to reach an agreement with Education, Sport and Culture (ESC) over a realistic level of future States funding that will allow the colleges to remain inclusive.

In August 2017 ESC announced its proposed new funding agreement with The Three Colleges to replace the existing arrangement which runs out in July 2019.

Following the move to an all-ability system and the removal of the 11+ The Three Colleges will receive their last special placeholders in September 2018. ESC will continue to fully fund all special place holders from September 2018 onwards as they move through their education at The Three Colleges until they leave either at the end of Year 11 or when they complete their sixth form studies.

ESC is proposing funding based on a block grant equating to £816 per pupil per year from 2019 onwards. This means that the level of States funding for the colleges will reduce over time from the current £4.4m per year to just under £1m in 2025/26. The Three Colleges maintain their position that the proposed level of financial support is insufficient to provide the number of assisted places which would allow the colleges to remain inclusive.

ESC says that the figure of £816 per pupil largely reflects the current funding model and suggests that the diminishing funding for special place holders can be replaced by the colleges taking on more fee-paying pupils. This rationale misses the point that to follow this course would make the colleges exclusive to those with the ability to pay by replacing children from households with limited means with fee payers paying full fees.

The future of College funding will be decided on...

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What The Three Colleges offer

The Three Colleges (Blanchelande College, Elizabeth College and The Ladies' College) are an integral part of Guernsey's secondary school system. Financial security will enable The Three Colleges to continue to offer choice and opportunity to pupils of a wide range of ability and from all socio-economic backgrounds.

The Three Colleges will continue to provide excellence and stability over the next seven years which will be a time of significant transition and change in the States secondary education sector. When viewed as part of the secondary education system, the colleges provide value, capacity and choice to the States, Guernsey residents, their children and people who choose to move to the island.

Ninety nine per cent of students who take part in the college’s entrance assessments are successful and the majority would not have been selected through the 11 plus system. The colleges cater for the widest range of abilities and are not selective.


  • The Three Colleges educate 30% of secondary school pupils for 6% of the Education Budget

  • College fee payers inject millions annually into the island’s secondary education system, excluding income tax paid

  • States departments are being asked to make savings and cuts and the colleges can help ESC achieve this


  • The Three Colleges are part of the whole secondary school solution particularly when it comes to peaks

  • If viewed as a whole there is no need to build over-capacity into the system

  • It is estimated that by 2026/7 there will be 211 more students in years 7-11 and it could be as many as 267 more


  • The Three Colleges offer choice – we do not fit into a ‘one size fits all’ world for young people

  • Two thirds of students at The Three Colleges would not have been selected through the 11+ process and yet the colleges achieve a high standard of results across the board

  • Incoming essential workers are attracted by having this choice option

The Three Colleges strengths

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How assisted places would work

The Three Colleges would like the States to vote for sufficient funding to allow them to offer means-tested assisted places to families who would otherwise not be able to afford college fees. This will enable the colleges to remain an integral part of Guernsey's secondary school system and continue to be inclusive.

The process would be as simple as possible with family income verification as part of this process. Places would then be offered based on income. It is envisaged that both 100 per cent and partially assisted places would be offered.

View The Role of the Colleges and States Funding For Assisted Places Offered.

Who to contact