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Pupils maypay to leave island

PARENTS on the Channel Island of Sark could face means testing over their children's education as the number of secondary pupils seeking to leave the island soars.

More and more parents are sending their children to school on Guernsey or in England - an education that Sark must pay for. Only four pupils aged 11 or older are still educated on the island.

Dennis Hurden, Sark's president of education, said that earlier attempts to encourage parents to take out insurance were met with "howls of protest . . . But with a budget of pound;50,000-pound;60,000 a year, we have to pay three teachers, buy books and equipment and fund repairs. If we divide up what's left, it will be so small as to be hardly worth having."

Education is free at Sark's school, which has 48 pupils aged from five to 15 in three classes.

"Children who are academically-minded tend to go away," says headteacher Jan Guy. "It's something I generally promote. They should have a fair crack of the whip."

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