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What could Brexit mean for education?

As the UK fast approaches one of the biggest landmarks in its history, it's hard to ignore the far-reaching impact it could have across some of the most important corners of society. The continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit means no one really knows what will happen, but let's take a look at the impact this event could have on the British education system.

Freedom of movement - Teachers and pupils within our schools come from all over the world; with possible restrictions being placed on EU movement, this may open the door for citizens of other countries around the world to teach and study in the UK. At the start of 2019, it had been reported that there had been a 25% drop in the number of teachers from the EU applying for jobs in the UK. As a result, there may be staff from other areas of the world coming to fill these vacancies.

Higher education - Britain has a prestigious reputation for higher education. Every year, 80,000 EU students start at British universities. By the same token, thousands of UK students travel to European cities to study abroad. The potential ending of this situation would see a loss in opportunities for British and EU students alike. On the other hand, we could see schemes for more far-flung parts of the world come into being. This could give students a wider view of the world than what can be experienced in Europe, allowing them to learn about religion, cultural differences and lifestyle outside of a Euro-centric culture.
Curriculum - When it comes to the curriculum, the most likely area to be impacted is modern foreign languages, as many teachers coming from the EU will be teaching their first languages in British schools. This could well come on the back of an already steady decline in the number of students studying a language at GCSE or A-level. However, the possible influx of teachers from outside the EU may see students being taught languages outside those of neighbouring countries. This would give them the opportunity to live and work all over the world.
Of course, it's impossible to predict the future, and anything may happen between now and when things have settled down. Education will always be a hot topic when it comes to politics and policy, but the most important thing is that children at their school desks continue to learn everything they can about the fascinating world we find ourselves in. Nothing is more valuable than an education, after all!

Posted by: Josh Seddon

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