As a round up to Education Awareness Week, each of the Island’s four schools held their own UNESCO Teacher Appreciation Day assemblies on Friday, 5 October 2018.

The schools chose different times to host throughout the day to ensure the Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, Chair of the Education Committee, Cllr Christine Scipio, and other members of the Education Directorate could attend each assembly,

In the three Primary Schools, students of various ages took turns to perform acts, songs, and dance routines, all in honour of their teachers. Messages were read by students for their favourite teachers and thanks were given with every performance, recognising the hard work and dedication of all teaching staff.

Teachers were treated with gifts and compliments by their school’s PTA, students and colleagues. A cake, coloured to represent each Primary School – green for Harford, red for Pilling, and yellow for St Pauls – was also presented at each school.

At the end of each assembly, small speeches recognising the importance of teachers and appreciating what they do were given by Shirley Wahler and Christine Scipio. This was followed by the awarding of Long Service Certificates to those teachers who had dedicated over ten years of continuous service to education on St Helena.

The final assembly of the day came from Prince Andrew School (PAS). For this assembly, all staff of the school was asked to sit at the front of the main school hall. The assembly began with a presentation from the school’s senior students, giving thanks to the teachers and acknowledging their importance to both the academic and personal growth of the Island’s children. The final part of the presentation included headshots of all the PAS staff from each department, much to the amusement of the students who greeted each photo with laughter, clapping, and cheers. A video then played with individual and groups of students recording messages to their teachers, including a French class saying thanks in French.

As with the Primary Schools, PAS received a cake coloured in blue to represent the school colour and Long Service Certificates were then presented to awardees in PAS, including to Valerie Yon for 44 years of service to education on St Helena – the longest service recognised on the day. This was followed again by short speeches from Shirley Wahler and Christine Scipio.

Christine said:

“Today is St Helena’s fourth annual Teacher Appreciation Day. This gives us an opportunity to reflect on how much we owe to teachers and to those who work in our schools now and in the past. They are kind, patient, hard-working, dedicated, and play a critical role in educating and shaping the youth of St Helena, who are our future leaders.

“Teachers, thank you for everything that you do and for the contributions that you make to the entire community. Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!”

Staff of all schools were given a USB stick with a photo of St Helena and a quote from former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, which read: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’.

#StHelena #Education #EducationAwarenessWeek #TeacherAppreciationDay

8 October 2018

The Statistics Office is conducting a Business Survey from October to mid-November 2018. The last survey of this type was conducted in 2010.

Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, Lawson Henry, said:

“This is an important survey to better understand St Helena’s economy, the current business environment, and St Helena’s labour market. It is a long time since businesses were surveyed in this way, and St Helena has been through a period of tremendous change since then. It’s especially important now that scheduled air services are operating, and a new freight service has been introduced. The analysis from the statistics, arising from the data collected from this survey, will play an important part in decision-making; therefore I would encourage businesses to take part.”

The survey fieldwork will start on Monday, 8 October, when questionnaires will be delivered. The survey is expected to take around six weeks, and it will be conducted within the legal framework of the 2000 Statistics Ordinance. All businesses with employees (i.e. apart from self-proprietors) are required to complete and return the questionnaire. Statistics Officers will collect completed questionnaires, and will give businesses any help they need.

The survey includes around twenty questions in areas related to the business environment, employment & staff recruitment, leave & benefits, and staff training. A further section on income and expenses will only be required of larger businesses (those who employ ten people or more). The information provided on the questionnaires will be treated with strict confidence, and will be used only for the purpose of compiling statistics, in accordance with the Statistics Ordinance.

Statistical Commissioner, Neil Fantom, said:

“Our job in the Statistics Office is to help people make better decisions; good data does not guarantee good decision-making, but it does make it much more likely. I’d like to thank all businesses for their cooperation and help with the survey – we’ve tried hard to make sure the survey is straightforward and simple for businesses to complete, but the enumeration team will be available to help if needed. Please contact us on tel: 22318 or by email:, or visit our office in the Castle, if you have any questions or comments, or need help with the survey. We’ll be more than happy to try and help to make the process as painless as possible.”

#StHelena #Statistics #2018BusinessSurvey

5 October 2018

St Helena Government (SHG) is pleased to inform that confirmation has been received from the Airport Regulator, Air Safety Support International (ASSI), that the Aerodrome Certificate and approvals for St Helena Airport have been issued to St Helena Airport Ltd (SHAL).

SHG is also pleased to advise that all staff previously engaged at the St Helena Airport have taken up positions with SHAL.  The team is highly qualified and experienced and their support to the ongoing operation of the St Helena Airport is very much appreciated.  Of particular note is the appointment of Ms Gwyneth Howell as Chief Executive Officer and Accountable Manager of SHAL.  Our congratulations to Gwyneth on her appointment.

Finally, SHG has been advised by our insurance providers that all necessary insurances are in place.  SHG is therefore pleased to announce that St Helena Airport has recommenced operations as normal with effect from today, 5 October 2018.


5 October 2018

The Education & Employment Directorate recently announced school results for 2018. In primary, school results rose significantly from the previous year after the change in reporting standards in 2017. At Prince Andrew School the GCSE results were somewhat lower than in 2017, but well above results in 2015 and 2016.

The Education Committee recently received a detailed report and analysis of the results from primary schools and the progress achieved. Overall, primary results were very encouraging, with significant improvements in performance in both English and Mathematics reflected in the report.

Prior to 2017, Year 6 primary results were reported as the percentage of students reaching Level 4 or above. Following changes to the UK National Curriculum however, new assessments and measures have been introduced in St Helena schools. The changes to the National Curriculum have meant that students must now meet much more challenging learning objectives. The National Curriculum Levels which were used to report student attainment are no longer used.

From 2017, schools have been required to report the percentage of students reaching the new standard, ‘At Age Related Expectations’. There is also a new standard for high achievement, ‘Above Age Related Expectations’. Student performance is assessed using computer-based testing. These assessments provide parents and teachers with detailed feedback about children’s strengths and areas for development. Students in Years 2-6 take these assessments at the end of the year, but only Year 6 results are considered summative assessments and reported publicly. Other results are used to guide students’ learning as they progress through the school.

The target for primary schools was set at 60% achieving ’At Age Related Expectations’ in both English and Mathematics. For 2018, 56.1% of Year 6 students achieved ‘At Age-Related Expectations’ in English (compared to 50% in 2017) and 41.5% achieved ‘At Age-Related Expectations’ in Mathematics (compared to 30% in 2017). The report also noted Year 6 students who performed at the higher standard designated ‘Above Age-Related Expectations,’ with 14.6% of Year 6 students achieving at this level in English and 6.4% in Mathematics. The Education Committee praised the hard work and commitment of school staff in achieving these results and noted the significant improvements over the past year.

Results from Prince Andrew School were also shared with the Education Committee.  The headline results for GCSE’s was 37.1%, reflecting the proportion of students who earned higher grade passes in five subjects, including English and Mathematics. This result was below the 2017 results of 45%, and also slightly below the school’s target of 40%, but was well above results in 2015 and 2016. Prince Andrew School was particularly proud of the Science results, which were the best ever seen in the school. In Coordinated Sciences, 85% of students received higher grades, while in the Single Science entries, the success rate was 65%.

This is the second year of exams since GCSE reforms began in the UK last year.  Changes to various qualifications are still taking place, and new qualifications are being added by exam boards. While some subjects are still graded in the traditional way, with letter grades from A* to G, the new grading system uses numbers with higher numbers meaning higher grades. Under the new system, number grades from 4-9 are considered ‘good passes’ just as letter grades from C-A* have been.

This means that reporting grades are not quite as straightforward as in past years.  This year, for example, the top performing female GCSE student earned a double A* grade, three A grades, one C grade, one 6 grade and one 4 grade. The top performing male students earned one A grade, five B grades, and two 5 grades.

Prince Andrew School also reported A-Level results from its Sixth Form students.  There were six students in Year 13 in 2017/18, five of whom were studying full academic programmes. Collectively, these students sat 17 examinations, with an overall pass rate of 82%. The top performing Year 13 student received B’s in Psychology and English Literature and a C in English Language.

The Director of Education, Shirley Wahler, congratulated students, teachers, and parents, on the work achieved in 2017/18. She said:

“Overall, we see very positive trends in attainment across both the primary and secondary sectors. I am particularly pleased with improvements in both English and Mathematics at the primary level. This lays the foundation on which Prince Andrew School will build future success. The Prince Andrew School science results are also very encouraging and reflect the tremendous potential of St Helena students. There is still work to do to improve our results, but we see progress right through the system, and schools are working hard to help every student achieve their full potential. 

“As we celebrate Education Appreciation Week, I want to thank all our education staff for their commitment to the care and education of the children of St Helena and for the hard work that they invest in improving the quality of teaching and learning in our schools.”

#StHelena #Education #ExamResults #Primary #PrinceAndrewSchool #Success

5 October 2018

SAEX have announced that the survey is to begin for the SAEx1 project to deliver a South Atlantic Express cable running 7,600km from Cape Town to Fortaleza in Brazil with a branch to St Helena. The contract for the desk top study, permitting and survey activities has been signed between SAEx International Ltd and Alcatel Submarine Networks, a subsidiary of Nokia.

The fibre optic cable project will deliver superfast broadband to St Helena through a submarine cable. This will provide significant benefits to us, particularly as we currently rely on a satellite for internet access.

The next steps in the project are for a desk top survey to be completed, permitting to be achieved and the marine route survey to be undertaken. The progress of the project can be tracked at

Managing Director of SAEx, Rosalind Thomas, said:

“SAEx will support efficiency in Asian and African connectivity by adding a direct low-latency route that’s able to address the growing capacity requirements for Data Centre Interconnect globally. Additionally, it will further evolve South Africa’s positioning as a global hub, providing a direct link between the Americas & Asia, simplifying & enhancing communications between the 5 most populous countries in the world.”

President & CEO of Alcatel Submarine Networks, Philippe Piron, said:

We are delighted to work with SAEx for this significant project, creating new and diverse routes around the globe at a time of tremendous growth in African broadband, mobile and cloud based applications that are driving service providers’ demand for more connectivity options with higher reliability. This project confirms Alcatel Submarine Networks’ turn-key expertise in helping operators address the fast growth of data-intensive services and applications.”

SHG Government Economist, Nicole Shamier, commented:

‘This is extremely exciting news for St Helena, as we move one step closer to achieving faster and more reliable broadband. Our priority now is to make sure that we are ‘Cable Ready’; ensuring that the community can make the most of the opportunities provided by the Fibre Optic Cable’.

We would like to hear from you about how the Fibre Optic Cable will benefit you and your work. Please help by undertaking our short online survey

The SAEX press release is available at

#StHelena #FibreOpticCable #SAEx #SEDP


4 October 2018


The following is a public announcement from the Roads Section:

The Roads Section would like to advise the public that remedial works on the roadway near the zebra pedestrian crossing in Market Street, Jamestown, will be carried out between 8am and 12noon on Sunday, 7 October 2018.

Market Street will remain open while works are carried out. Drivers and pedestrians are asked to comply with road safety signage and to approach this area with caution.

The Roads Section would like to thank the public in advance for their co-operation.

3 October 2018

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office invites nominations for the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Persons wishing to submit nominations for the 2019 Birthday Honours are reminded that the overriding principle is that honours are awarded on merit for exceptional achievement or any service recently carried out over and above what normally is expected. Where possible, nominations should place emphasis on voluntary services.

It should also be noted that age is not a factor in awarding honours and younger members of the community who have made an outstanding contribution or have given exceptional service, should not be overlooked.  It is important that nominations are kept confidential and that nominees are not made aware that they are being proposed for award of an Honour.

Nomination forms are available from Corporate Services at the Castle and can also be requested by e-mail from Miss Linda Benjamin, via:

Completed forms should be returned to the Executive Secretary, Honours Committee, in a sealed envelope, marked ‘Confidential’, by Friday, 2 November 2018.

#StHelena #BirthdayHonours #FCO #NominationsInvited


3 October 2018


The monthly meetings of the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) and the Highways Authority were held on Thursday, 20 September 2018.

Parking and traffic calming issues throughout Jamestown are continuously raised with the Committee. Proposals for additional parking in Upper Jamestown are now with the Planning Office for consideration.

The taxi parks behind the Canister were discussed. Approval was given for three parks to be reserved for 24-hour parking, whilst other taxi parks will be time restricted to enable wider use by the public. This arrangement will be continuously monitored.

The Chairman reported that the three month trial-period for the pedestrian crossing near The Canister had elapsed. Members noted that the crossing has worked well and had been accepted by the public, although there have been some minor hiccups. There were no adverse comments from the general public, although there is some concern about the narrow pavement adjacent to the buildings. Members agreed to do further publicity aimed at vehicle users and pedestrians on how the crossing should be used.

The Committee discussed and approved a request from Solomon’s for their Greenland’s Store, following advice from the SHG Fire Inspector. Approval was given to paint a ‘Keep Clear’ sign outside the Napoleon Street exit and to place ‘Keep Access Clear at all Times’ on the doors. The Fire Service also advised that a 3ft walkway is required by law for emergency exit; therefore parks in Henry’s car park will be re-aligned to enable removable bollards to be installed to maintain access to the double doors.

Street lighting in Napoleon Street was discussed and it was reported that there is a problem with the underground electrical cable supplying these lights. The Roads Manager is in discussion with Connect St Helena. He reported that consideration might be given to installing solar lighting.

Approval was given to the Environmental Risk Manager to erect a direction sign for the Horse Point Landfill Site (HPLS). This sign will be placed near the junction to the Millennium Forest and HPLS.

Safety concerns about the Jamestown Run were discussed, especially in light of the most recent rains and the increased water flow in The Run. The directorate had made the public aware that The Run had become a prohibited area until further notice.

The Chief Environmental Officer, assisted by the Nurseries Officer, gave an update on the Plant Propagation Policy. It was noted that some parts of the Policy needed refreshing in light of current work being done on our endemic plants. The Chief Environmental Officer gave an update on the ‘Namibian Ice plant,’ an invasive species believed to have been introduced to the Island in river and dune sand imported by Basil Read during Airport construction. Although the sand had been fumigated, some seeds had survived. Over the last two years large numbers have been discovered on Prosperous Bay Plain and have subsequently been destroyed.

Members were informed that a location for a new Laboratory to support the Marine Protected Areas and the Blue Belt programme has now been identified. The Laboratory will be situated in the freight terminal and the space will be shared with the St Helena National Trust and Blue Marine.

The Environmental Risk Manager presented a draft Press Release, a draft letter for businesses, and a calculation sheet, for the potential cost recovery of charging for the collection of waste with only the first 240litre domestic bin per week being collected free of charge. Members felt this will incite the general public to look at managing and reducing their waste and businesses might reconsider their imports and types of packaging for the same reason. This will also incentivise the public and businesses to rethink and recycle in order to extend the life of the HPLS. This was approved and it was agreed that the commencement date should be 1 January 2019, giving the public and businesses adequate time to be informed and to make adjustments to the amount and type of waste they wish to dispose of.

#StHelena #ENRC #HighwaysAuthority #MeetingSummary

3 October 2018


The monthly meeting of the Education Committee was held on Wednesday, 19 September 2018.

The Committee were introduced to the new Math Advisory Teachers, Mr Charles Derick Bower and Mr Rex Andrew Pondsford. Both teachers shared their extensive experiences gained across many countries including Malaysia, Canada, Dominica, Nigeria, Botswana, China and the UK.

Dr Julia Cave Smith was also introduced having taken up a local post as an English teacher. She shared her work experiences across many continents, which involved teaching, teacher training, consulting for the British Council, and various charity work.

Likely demands for scholarship funding in 2019-2022 was presented and it was requested to consider future funding requirements for overseas scholarships. It was noted that the establishment of the Scholarship Trust would impact greatly on the planning of future funding requirements and it was agreed that the matter would be revisited during the budgeting process.

Members were presented and requested to consider the proposed guidance for funding degree level and PGCE study by prospective or serving teachers. The Committee noted some amendments to the document and requested further work in considering an appeals process for this purpose.

The Director presented the Committee with the Primary School Assessment Results for the School Year 2017/18.

The performance and progress achieved by the students in Key Stage 2 (Year 6) over the 2017/18 school year is reflected using the metric of ‘Age Related Expectations’ in line with the English National Curriculum which was introduced in St Helena Schools in 2016. For the first time this year all end-of-year testing was conducted in each of the primary schools and all tests were administered by the Assistant Director of Schools. The report highlighted rising scores in English and Mathematics across the primary sector. The Open Report reflecting the detailed results has been made available on the SHG website via:

The Head Teacher of Prince Andrew School presented the Secondary Results for the School Year 2017/18.

Among this year’s achievements was the first group of students being examined in the WJEC Level1/2 Award in Hospitality and Catering. The report also noted a dramatic improvement in Science results.

The report reflecting details of secondary attainment (GCSE) as well as A Level Results is also available on the SHG website via the aforementioned link.

Finally, the Committee was provided with an update on the apprenticeship budget and were pleased that applications had been received with interest in training across various sectors including Hospitality, Health, IT and Finance.

#StHelena #EducationCommittee #MeetingSummary

3 October 2018

Please be advised that St Helena Airport is temporarily closed in accordance with standard regulatory procedure as the Aerodrome Certificate previously held by Basil Read Ltd has been rescinded by ASSI (Air Safety Support International) since Basil Read Ltd are no longer contracted to operate the Airport.

SHG is in the process of activating contingency arrangements. Our priority today must be to inform our staff, suppliers and subcontractors as regrettably we are aware that this information has not reached them through normal communication channels.  We would encourage all St Helena Airport Project (whether operational or construction phase) staff, suppliers and subcontractors to attend a meeting to be held at Kingshurst Community Centre at 5pm today.

SHG is using all best endeavours to resume normal operations.  Regulatory arrangements are already in place so that should a medevac flight be required during the course of this week, the flight could operate as normal.

An update to the general public will follow on Wednesday morning.

Airport Directorate

2 October 2018