Former Education Minister Proposes Mandatory Education Until 18 for Jersey Students

Former Education Minister Proposes Mandatory Education Until 18 for Jersey Students

Deputy Inna Gardiner proposes raising the education participation age in Jersey to 18, advocating for equal funding for all students. Learn more about this significant change in education policy.


In a bold move to enhance the prospects of young people in Jersey, former Education Minister Deputy Inna Gardiner has proposed a significant change in the island’s education system.

The proposition aims to raise the education participation age from 16 to 18, aligning Jersey with the UK’s standards and ensuring equal funding for students regardless of their chosen educational paths.

Raising the Education Participation Age

Currently, students in Jersey can legally leave education or training at the age of 16, unlike their counterparts in the UK, who are required to stay until 18.

Deputy Gardiner’s proposition seeks to bridge this gap, emphasizing the importance of extended education for better career and life opportunities.

“Education is our investment in the future,” she stated, underscoring the long-term benefits of this initiative.

Equality in Funding

A vital aspect of the proposal is the call for equal funding for 16 to 18-year-olds, regardless of whether they pursue traditional education or vocational training.

Deputy Gardiner highlighted a significant disparity in the current funding model.

Students in government-paid education receive between £7,000 and £8,000 annually, while those in apprenticeship training at Highlands are funded with only £1,600 from the government’s tracker program.

“The tracker program has a total budget of £650,000 per year for an average of 400 plus apprentices, with a maximum funding of £1,600 for each student, while the annual average cost per year for an apprenticeship is £5,400,” Gardiner explained.

This funding gap forces many students and employers to self-fund once the limited government support runs out.

Comparison with the UK System

Deputy Gardiner pointed to the UK’s approach as a model for Jersey.

The UK law requiring students to stay in education up to 18 was introduced to “improve the career and life prospects for young people,” with the UK Government committed to funding these provisions.

By adopting a similar approach, Jersey could offer its young people better opportunities and a more secure future.

Implementation and Funding

If the proposition is adopted, the Jersey government’s first step would be to establish the cost of the required provisions and create a coherent funding strategy.

This would ensure all students receive equal support, paving the way for a more equitable education system.

Deputy Gardiner emphasized that her proposition is “purposefully simple and non-prescriptive,” aiming to provide a clear framework for necessary changes without overcomplicating the implementation process.

Current Minister’s Response

The current education minister has been contacted for comment on the proposition.

As the island awaits its response, the debate over extending the education participation age continues to gain momentum among educators, parents, and policymakers.


Deputy Inna Gardiner’s proposal to raise the education participation age to 18 and ensure equality in funding marks a significant step towards improving the educational landscape in Jersey.

By aligning with UK standards and addressing funding disparities, this initiative promises to enhance the career and life prospects of Jersey’s young people, making education an investment in the future.

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