Press Release

Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture
Release Date:
Tuesday, 3 March 2020 - 10:20am

Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. The Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley, is said to have had a successful tour of  several educational institutions in Hertfordshire and Essex Counties in the United Kingdom.

The Minister met with Hertfordshire education officials and head teachers while touring three foundational institutions in Hertfordshire last month as he continues to make strides on advancing the BVI’s public education system and infrastructure.

Honourable Wheatley visited the Southfield school, a specialised purpose-built primary school which caters to children with moderate learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders and speech, language and communication difficulties. 

He also visited the secondary institution, Onslow St. Audrey’s School, which takes a more integrated approach as a mainstream school for children of all abilities but provides special provisions and pastoral care for children with special requirements. 

The Minister toured The Link Hatfield, a specialist secondary school aimed at children who require behavioural interventions to their usual secondary tuition.

The University of Hertfordshire also hosted the Minister for talks and a tour of the University’s De Havilland Campus.  Speaking on discussions held with the Director of International at the University, Mr. Stuart Smith, Honourable Wheatley stated that students’ progression to the UK, delivery of degree programmes in the BVI, staff exchange and capacity building projects were also subjects explored during the discussion.  “I welcome the potential for partnerships between the University of Hertfordshire and the H. Lavity Stoutt Community college in the BVI,”  he added.
In Hertfordshire, the Minister was hosted by school officials including Head of School Standards and Accountability, Ms. Tania Rawle.  The BVI and Hertfordshire County share a Memorandum of Understanding which facilitates exchange in areas such as education, sports and economic development. The County maintains one of the higher standards of education in the UK.

A part of the tour was also a visit to Glenwood Special School, a purpose-built institution which caters to children with moderate to severe special needs and disabilities based in Essex, UK.  The focus here was on the architectural design of the facilities as well as the curriculum and overall school management.

Honourable Wheatley said, “Viewing various school models provides a useful comparison to better determine the aspects of design, curriculum and management which would best serve the Territory.”

“This is particularly useful with regard to educational provision for children with special needs as reconstruction of the Territory’s special education school, Eslyn Henley Richiez Centre, is currently in the early stages,” Honourable Wheatley added.

Photos included

  1. Hon. Wheatley at Onslow St. Audrey’s School with Head Teacher David Bullock
  2. Hon. Wheatley with students at Onslow St. Audrey’s School
  3. L to R. Hon. Wheatley,  Liz Cornish (Head Teacher), Liz Curl (Director, Curl La Tourelle Head Architecture) and Ricky Dawson (Civil/Structural Engineer at Dawson & Associates Consulting Engineers) at Glenwood Special School, Essex.
  4. L to R: Tracy Bradshaw (Ag. Director, BVI London Office), Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop (Hertfordshire Deputy Executive Member for Education, Libraries and Localism, Councillor Terry Douris ( Hertfordshire Executive Member for Education, Libraries & Localism), Hon. Natalio D Wheatley (BVI Minister for Education) and Dave Allen (Head Teacher) at The Links Hatfield School.
  1. L to R – Councillor Terry Douris, Tania Rawle,  Hon. Wheatley, Dave Allen and Councillor Mark Mills-Bishop at The Links Hatfield School


Nekita Turnbull

Information Officer II
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2730