Worcester’s MP, Robin Walker, has welcomed support for the UK remaining a member of the EU from the Education Secretary, the Editor of the respected Times Educational Supplement and the clear majority of teachers in a recent poll, which can be found here:
Ahead of Thursday’s referendum on the European Union, Robin Walker, PPS to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, has welcomed her reasons for backing Remain with a focus on how membership benefits impact teachers and young people studying. Nicky and Lord (Jim) Knight, the Chief Education Adviser at the TES have published a joint article for the TES on why Brexit isn’t best for children’s futures which can be found here:
They conclude with a stark warning about the threat to education from Brexit:
“Vote Leave have made it clear that they would cut the UK loose from the single market – throwing away all of these benefits and putting our economic security at risk. We know that it is only with a strong economy that we can have strong public services – a vote to leave would mean less funding for your local school and put children’s education at risk.”
“At the same time, we all know that economic shocks, as 9 out of 10 economists and you yourselves have warned will happen if we leave the EU, hit young people the hardest, meaning they’ll have fewer job opportunities and face higher prices and more expensive mortgages. But it’s about so much more than numbers. This is a fight for the soul of our country and the very essence of what it means to be British. We don’t want our pupils to grow up in a country that’s isolated in the world and where our influence ends at our shores.”
“We are stronger in the EU where we can lead and shape our future, rather than quitting. Teachers across the UK recognise this; we implore you to make the case to others, too.”
The Editor of the Times Educational Supplement has set out her personal view here:
She concludes movingly:
“Teachers are right to be thinking of their students. When we go to the polls next Thursday, it is not for ourselves that we should be voting, but for our children and everyone else’s children. The future is not ours; it is theirs.”
A recent poll by the TES to its members suggests that 70% of school staff will vote to stay in the EU. More than half of UK teachers think that a Brexit would damage their pupils’ futures, according to the exclusive YouGov poll for TES. With Thursday’s referendum less than a week away, the survey reveals that just 6 per cent of teachers believe education would benefit from a leave vote and 27 per cent think it would “get worse” as a result.
Robin has reiterated how the EU brings a number of direct benefits to our schools. To take just one example, we have over 1,000 language assistants from the EU teaching in British schools at a time when learning languages has never been more importat. This means that hundreds of thousands of secondary-age students have the opportunities to have their study of, Spanish, German and French supported by native speakers.
The European Union also provides enormous benefits to UK students, UK academics, and UK Universities in supporting and carrying out teaching, knowledge transfer and research. Examples of European support for students includes the ERASMUS exchange scheme which supports students to study or work abroad in a company.
Robin has led campaigns in Parliament to get more funding for schools in Worcestershire, securing £390 million for the lowest funded areas of which £6.7 million comes to Worcestershire and now as PPS to the Education Secretary he is supporting her in delivering long awaited reforms to deliver fair funding.
He is concerned that any loss to the economy as a result of a Brexit vote, would impact negatively on the hard won gains for local schools.
Commenting Robin said:
“It is striking that the teachers who are working hard to educate the next generation are so heavily in favour of a Remain vote. They know that the life chances of the people they teach will be profoundly affected by the outcome of this referendum and I have no doubt they want the best for all of them.”
“Having spent years campaigning for fairer funding for our schools in Worcestershire and being on the brink of delivering vital reforms to cement this, it would be tragic if a vote to leave were to damage that work. Whatever you think about the short term impact on our economy if there were to be a vote to leave, you need to bear in mind that the overwhelming weight of expert opinion is that it would take a hit. That would not be just a short term hit, but could do long term damage to education.”
“We want to ensure every child in the UK has the opportunity of the best possible education and investing in future generations is part of what we need to do to ensure that. I would urge anyone who is unsure about how to vote in Thursday’s referendum to think of the next generation, think of how they need to make their way in an ever smaller world and how a vote to remain will help them to do so.”
“I am optimistic about our country and its ability to lead in Europe, not be led by it. Believing profoundly in the value of education, I want to see us continue to invest in an educational system fit for the twenty fist century and to learn from friends around the world including in Europe.”