Opinion Former Article

Teachers concerned about impact of Brexit on education

Half of teachers (50%) fear that Brexit will distract the Government from dealing with the real issues the country faces including pressing education issues.  

Two in five teachers (41%) also said they were worried that Brexit will have a negative impact upon the education system (just 12% think it will have positive one), while 43% are worried about its impact upon teachers’ job security.

 Alarmingly, a fifth (18%) reported hearing about or experiencing foreign born colleagues being verbally abused about their nationality on school premises since the Brexit vote.

These are among the key findings from a survey of 800 British teachers conducted by research consultancy ComRes, commissioned by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union in the UK.

 Other findings include: 

  • 49% of teachers believe that schools have an important role in preparing students for Brexit but 54% of teachers feel unsupported in discussing Brexit with their students
  • 60% are worried about the impact of Brexit upon investment in schools.
  • 29% believe Brexit will place even more pressure on their already excessive workload
  • 54% are worried about Brexit’s impact on future job opportunities for family and friends who are not teachers
  • 50% believe that Brexit is distracting the Government from the real issues in the country, including education and the NHS.

Commenting, Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:

“This research demonstrates the genuine concern amongst teachers about what Brexit will mean for their jobs, working conditions and rights at work.

“The survey suggests that the recruitment and retention crisis which is engulfing schools will not be addressed if Brexit results in reduced levels of investment in education.

“The research confirms that schools and teachers need immediate support in order to help educate today’s children and young people for a future where the UK is no longer a member of the European Union.  

“With one in five teachers reporting witnessing or experiencing foreign-born colleagues being subjected to verbal abuse because of their nationality, it is also abundantly clear that urgent action is needed to demonstrate that such abuse is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

ENDS

NASUWT Press Office contacts:

Simon Houltby 07920 711 069

Ben Padley 07785 463 119

Lena Davies 07867 392 746

ComRes Brexit Survey – Headline findings:

Survey of 800 teachers in the UK Impact of Brexit on UK & Government policy

The top three priorities of the Government should be: the NHS, schools and Brexit.

  • 58% believe that the impact on the country will be negative, but 54% of believe that Brexit will not affect their jobs day-to- day.
  • 50% believe that there will be a negative impact on workers’ rights.
  • 50% believe that Brexit is distracting the Government from the real issues the country is facing Discussing Brexit in the classroom
  • 45% feel that Brexit should be discussed in the classroom and feel able to do so, 18% feel it should be discussed in the classroom but feel unable to do so.
  • 49% of teachers believe that schools have an important role in preparing students for Brexit
  • 54% of teachers believe that their school is not supported in helping to prepare students for Brexit.
  • Only 7% believe that the curriculum is helping pupils prepare for Brexit Impact on Teachers
  • 29% are worried about the impact of Brexit upon their jobs.
  • 43% are worried about the impact of Brexit upon the job security of colleagues.
  • 54% are worried about the impact of Brexit upon job opportunities for family and friends who are not teachers
  • 60% are worried about the impact of Brexit upon investment in schools.
  • 29% are worried about the impact of Brexit upon the workload of the profession.
  • 18% have heard of or experienced foreign born colleagues receiving verbal abuse about their nationality

Political context

  • The majority of teachers voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum (62%)
  • If a referendum was held tomorrow, 64% would vote remain
  • 57% believe that the Government should prioritise securring free trade agreements and access to the single market in the Brexit negotiations, as opposed to 19% who say the Government should prioritise reducing immigration
More Articles by NASUWT: The Teachers' Union ...

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