Gilbert Institute and Prospect Primary Schools will close in 2025

The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to reforming public education in Bermuda. This includes restructuring the Bermuda Public School System (BPSS) by phasing out middle schools, introducing signature schools at the senior level and creating Parish Primary Schools with one Primary School in each Parish, two in Pembroke, and, as a result of the rescoring, two in St George’s.

After the May announcements about the rescoring process, I wish to announce today that Gilbert Institute and Prospect Primary will close at the end of June 2025.

The decision to close these two schools at the end of June 2025 was based on several factors:

1. The rescoring process did not alter any of the previous decisions for Central Zone schools. As such, the timelines for closures of these two schools shared with the school and the broader community in April 2023 remain;
2. The capacity to accommodate the students from Gilbert and Prospect in other central zone schools.; and
3. For Prospect Primary School, addressing the infrastructure issues to redevelop the site for the Signature School for Exceptionalities is more practical, with the school being empty.

The principals for both schools have been notified and will meet with staff and parents tomorrow. More detailed information about staffing decisions, school transfers, assistance for parents and other logistics will be discussed during these meetings.

The Department of Education will be working to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible. The Commissioner of Education will facilitate an implementation plan which focuses on:

Individual and group counselling support for students, parents, and staff, including wellness and HR support.
Guidance on student transition, integration, and special programs, with information sessions for parents.
Transfer of academic records and logistical details like uniforms, transportation, and site visits.
Activities and events to help students and staff manage the school closing process.
Staff career support, participation in the School Transition Teams, and year-end closing event involvement.

We know that this transition will have an impact on our BPSS and the broader community. Losing a significant fixture in our community is hard. Through our History and Legacy Committee, we will ensure that the memory of both schools is cherished and that their histories and legacy are recognised and honoured. The committee will oversee critical processes to invite, approve and oversee projects to meet the outcomes of documenting, preserving, honouring, and commemorating the history and legacy of education in Bermuda, including Gilbert Institute and Prospect Primary.

At this stage, we can confirm that the remainder of the revised Plan to Transition from a 3-tier to a 2-tier System will continue to be developed over the summer and ready to announce to all stakeholders in Term 1 of the 2024-25 school year. As you will appreciate, this is a labour-intensive process factoring in:

Student movement with the least possible disruption for children
The location of preschools on each Parish Primary site
The placement of special programmes (Functional Skills, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Success Academy)
Staff movement
Learning environments and construction timelines/capacity
Capacity and capability to deliver expanding STT processes.
Advance notice for school closures 

We understand that a full school system transformation like ours can be lengthy and sometimes disruptive. However, through the Ministry of Education, the Government of Bermuda is dedicated to improving public education for every learner. We note that as we work through reforming our Education system, we must support our students, staff, and families throughout this process.

In closing, The Ministry of Education will continue providing regular updates to our BPSS staff, parents, community partners, unions, PTSAs, and the general public through various communication channels and engagement events.

Change, while challenging, is essential for progress. We are committed to providing our children with the best educational environments possible.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement. We look forward to a bright future for education in Bermuda.

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