The PLP has spent the last three (3) years working hard to carefully plan the necessary reform you entrusted us to implement. As we embark on the most significant change to our public education system since 1996, we have been careful not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
While education is about the future, we must use the past to guide us. What we do today will affect how successful we are in the coming years. We are on the right path, a deliberate path, and the next five (5) years will see these plans realised for the benefit of our children and, by natural extension, our country.
The strong leadership of the next PLP Government will complete the transformation of the Bermuda Public School System by implementing the next phase, Learning First – Collaboratively Designing an Improved School System for Bermuda. We will provide a more equitable education system that produces graduates who can choose to pursue either vocational or academic careers. Since being elected in 2017, the PLP has worked on the implementation of a two-tier school system with the phasing-out of middle school and the introduction of signature schools at the secondary school level.
Your next PLP Government will:
Reform Governance & Accountability
- In keeping with a recommendation from Bermuda First, and with the support of the Bermuda Union of Teachers and the Bermuda Public Services Union, the PLP will create an Authority for public education, which will be responsible for the performance management of all schools and persons at the administrative, classroom and student support levels within the Department of Education. The Authority will oversee a system for Bermuda’s public schools that is the most appropriate structure and size, and that produces a learning environment that facilitates optimum student success.
- Governance reform will also include the introduction of School Boards working under the remit of the Authority, which will be used to strengthen school system operations with input from the community, educators, parents and students.
Phase Out Middle Schools
- The PLP will continue the work done to phase out middle schools and introduce a two-tier system of education that will have primary schools and signature schools at the secondary level which focus on the learning styles and interests of our children, including academic and technical subjects, trades, business, sports, arts, and special needs education. It is planned that the first signature schools will be implemented in September 2021.
- We will renovate or rebuild our primary schools and renovate existing buildings to house signature schools that are accessible and energy-efficient.
Provide Improved Professional Development for our Educators
- Enhance internationally recognised qualifications for new educators and professional development for existing educators to meet the demands of education and its future direction in the 21st century.
Create Multiple Pathways to Success for Bermudian Students
- Students will be exposed to various career pathways in the final years of primary school, before transitioning to signature school.
- Signature schools will provide various pathways for graduation, which will include: enriched trades/technical education, apprenticeships, internships, international certifications, dual enrolment at Bermuda College, and entrepreneurial development.
The PLP will ensure that Bermudian History is enriched and mandatory within all school systems, both public and private, and will expand the curriculum to teach students about climate change, and environmental and agricultural education.
Meet the Needs of Students with Exceptionalities
- We will conduct a review of the quality of instruction and delivery of programmes for special needs students to ensure that they are receiving the required services.
- We will develop a signature school that provides education and services for students with exceptionalities from preschool to senior school.
- We will develop a framework in collaboration with agencies and government departments, to outline how students facing behavioural and mental health challenges in the school setting can be supported effectively to address their issues.
Strengthen Bermuda College
A PLP Government believes that tertiary education is an immensely powerful instrument to create equality, fairness and opportunity and will:
- Continue to grow the number of articulation agreements with overseas colleges and universities, providing students with the ability to study in Bermuda and receive credits for overseas institutions while strengthening existing ties with the University of the West Indies, in particular with the UWI’s Virtual Open Campus.
- We will build a new multi-million dollar Career Development Centre at the Bermuda College. The centre will provide Bermuda with a world-class facility equipped with the latest technology that will enable the college to deliver courses using state of the art IT. The new centre will have the latest testing equipment enabling international certification testing to take place on-island.