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Jersey

BASIC DATA
Official Country Name: Jersey
Region: Europe
Population: 88,915
Language(s): English, French, Norman-French
Literacy Rate: NA

The largest of the British Channel Islands, Jersey has benefited from its status as a dependency of the British Crown and from its location between Great Britain and France. During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, a significant immigration of Calvinists made their way to the island from France, bringing with them a typical Calvinist emphasis on education. This period saw the establishment of schools in each of the island's 12 parishes and support for islanders seeking education at Oxford. Another wave of immigration from France following the revolution and Napoleonic period brought significant numbers of members of teaching religious orders to Jersey.

In 1995 the average cost per student at government schools stood at 2,783 pounds or 702 pounds per resident. Due to the island's income tax rate, which stands significantly below that of England, Jersey has experienced a significant influx of affluent residents without a corresponding rise in school enrollments. This disparity has led to positive funding for the educational system.

The schools in Jersey follow the model of the United Kingdom in most respects, including drawing on the U.K. National Curriculum. Education is divided between primary and secondary schools. The island's Department of Education reported an enrollment of 11,830 pupils in the primary and secondary schools in 1996 with a student-teacher ratio of 19.2:1 in the primary and 12.9:1 in the secondary schools. In recent years roughly 75 percent of Jersey students have completed the secondary course of education.

Highlands College provides vocational education for more than 8,000 students annually. The government also provides grant aid to students pursuing higher education in Britain. During the 1990s the number of students receiving grant aid increased by more than 70 percent, averaging more than 1,200 students each year by the end of the decade.


—Mark Browning

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