Why Brexit chaos would have benefits for UK schools

A post-Brexit economic crisis could help address England’s teacher recruitment challenge, a leading education academic has said. Tes reports.

But Becky Francis, director of the UCL Institute of Education, also warned that Brexit would disadvantage pupils in other ways and said there had not been enough done in schools to market “the benefits of the EU”.

Speaking during a discussion at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai about the impact of Brexit on young people Prof Francis said: “I think you could say actually teacher training in the UK is counter-cyclical.

“We may end up, actually, with more teachers if we have an economic crisis post-Brexit.

“So you could say, given that we have a teacher recruitment crisis in the UK at the moment, actually education may yet have some unintended benefits from Brexit.”

However the government has said that its plans for a new immigration system after Brexit could hit teacher recruitment from the European Economic Area.

Prof Francis warned that young people in Britain “absolutely will” be disadvantaged by Brexit, compared to young people in other EU countries.

She also told the audience that school curriculums had not taught children about the benefits of the EU.

“This comes back to the area of education, because what we haven’t had in our curriculums in schools or for the population as a whole is the benefits of the EU. We have hardly ever heard about the benefits, including the success of no wars in Europe since the Second World War.”

She said: “In the UK for a very long time citizenship education – it’s got a complicated acronym in Britain: PSHE – has been just a basket for a load of random government agenda – preventing terrorism or preventing online stalking, and so on and so forth, and that just gets thrown into that curriculum, rather than a real engagement.”

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