There have been many speculations in terms of what the future holds for education before the Brexit vote, and the worry people have has not eased after the result of the referendum. Some of those speculations have come to be realised while some have not, or perhaps not yet anyway. What we have now is a situation in which, in addition to worry and uncertainty about the future of the country, the political situation is such that no one knows exactly who will be the next prime minister – or in fact the leader of the opposition. There are two main schools of thought at this uncertain time: one is optimism from some of those who wanted Brexit in the first place, the other is extreme disappointment and a real concern about what lies ahead for the country in terms of the economy, security and, more importantly, the future of young people, most of who prefer to remain in the Europe Union. I will not dwell too much on the political side of things – instead I will concentrate on matters relating to the future of young people. In this uncertain time there is one thing that is definite: the well-educated young people will always have a brighter future than those who are not, regardless of the economy or politics. Education has all sorts of meanings to it but the easiest one to spot – the one society uses to segregate people – is a ‘formal academic qualification’, and that is the case in every single country of the world.
Below are just a few of the questions that experts in the field of education and also students have asked about the potential effect of Brexit.
No one has provided tangible answer to any of these questions.
a. Exacerbation of the pre-existing difficulty which schools have in recruiting good teachers – as 15% of academic staff in UK institutions are from EU countries.
b. The attention of politicians will be focused on dealing with issues relating to Brexit and leaving the EU; therefore, there will be less attention devoted to schools and issues relating to the education of young people.
c. Less money for education and scientific research and funding of certain programmes such as the Erasmus Programme (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students. The possibility that less funding will be available for schools in general. A programme of exchange for university students between European countries.
d. More paperwork for school visits to Europe, depriving teachers of valuable time to teach. This is in case visa restrictions are put back in place after the UK formally withdraws from the EU.
e. Possibility of Brexit freeing up places in schools as a result of less immigrant children being in schools (a potentially positive effect). This will happen if citizens of other European countries are asked to leave the UK after the formal withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
I must say that the list of concerns over Brexit in relation to education is much longer than the one above, but I’ve summarised them as I intend to explore the ones that are likely to have a direct and immediate effect on school children. These are the only ones that I want to explore with parents at present.
Of course, I’m not necessarily saying that all the above points will lead to negative consequences. What I am saying is that the above are issues that many in education are concerned about and no one knows for sure what will happen as a result of the UK leaving the EU. In my next blog, I will discuss one Golden Currency that – unlike the pound or dollar – never falls in value.
Please see the link here for that blog article and I hope you enjoy reading it. I look forward to speaking to you again in my third blog article, the link to which I will send you in the next couple of days.
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