Brexit impact on Education

The full impact of the Brexit vote has yet to be calculated. Because of the small majority that voted to leave the European Union, there are currently moves afoot to overturn the referendum decision. Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty has not been invoked which means that the UK has not formally informed its ‘former’ EU partners of its decision to quit the EU. Therefore, one can only speculate as to the impact the vote will have on education.

It will come as a relief to EU students in higher education that they will still be able to receive loans and/or grants for their courses. However, there are questions now regarding European students who wish to study in the UK as they may have to pay their tuition fees. This would mean fewer students and so universities will need to find extra funds. Currently, according to the Times Higher Education journalists, UK universities receive approximately £1.2 billion a year in EU research funding. There are fears among academics that science in particular will be hard hit.

As for primary education, it has been the fault of successive UK governments rather than immigration or migration, that has caused a lack of school places. There was a rise in the UK’s birth rate in the years following 2000, and the governments were very slow to respond.

One in four primary schools in the UK are full or have more pupils than they should, according to Labour’s statistics, as quoted in the Independent. If the UK loses EU funding, then this is likely to become a critical situation.

There is likely to be a knock-on effect in the secondary sector, although with so many different types of school on offer, there may not be a crisis as parents can choose where to send their children. However, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) has warned that there will be an impact on the quality of education delivered in schools that are over capacity. It has also suggested that there will, within the next five years, be a need for 80,000 more places in secondary schools and 200,000 more places in the primary sector.

If there is to be no more EU funding, the UK government will be called upon to make up the shortfall. The UK education system is recognised as one of the best in the world, but this could change if schools continue to be overstretched.

Another impact of the Brexit vote might be more beneficial as teachers from the UK may find it harder to move to other European countries. Not having the freedom of movement enjoyed by EU citizens may mean that more newly-qualified teachers will stay in the UK.

Of course teachers are still in demand, and if you are looking for a teaching position in Britain, why not try looking for vacancies on the talentedteacherjobs.co.uk website? There are vacancies across the board.

No one knows precisely how an actual Brexit will impact UK education and all we can do at the moment is wait and see.

Ft image credit: Schools week.

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