What does Brexit mean for the academy and wider education sector?

28 June 2016

No doubt since last Friday you have been involved in countless discussions about the EU referendum result, with questions raised about how the result will affect the Government’s education policies and the likely impact on the academies sector.

There has already been some debate into whether the vote to leave the EU will delay education policies, with particular concern that the Government may find it tough to implement the national funding formula plans to create a new funding system and even out regional cash disparities. Quoting general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, Russell Hobby, on the subject Schools Week reported: “The status of a new national funding formula is uncertain, and schools could face cuts if we experience the threatened austerity budget. School leaders will seek reassurances from government at this time of great instability.”

However, my instinct is that these plans will continue; the last thing the education sector needs is further instability. After several years of campaigning for a national funding formula the sector has reached a point of great promise and it would be unwelcome to see any retraction now after so much good work has been completed. The Government faces some difficult months and years ahead as we all struggle with an uncertain economic future, and as the full details of the Brexit deal are brokered, and I doubt the Government will wish to cause further unrest by backtracking on such a key policy for the future of our young people.

As well as questions surrounding the Government’s education policies, there must also be a question mark over whether attention will be shifted away from forced academisation, with the Government busy elsewhere.

In the wider education sector, the Leave vote is almost certainly going to impact on Higher Education institutions, with areas such as funding, research and university tuition fees likely to be affected. On the Monday ahead of the referendum, the heads of 103 universities voiced their concerns and issued an impassioned open letter expressing how they were “gravely concerned” about the impact of a Leave vote on their universities and students, cautioning voters that the power of their universities on local communities and economy “should not be underestimated.”

Whilst the Department for Education said it would have a clear idea of the impact of the vote in “due course”, there will undoubtedly be some impact on the education system.   We will be keeping you informed and updated with our views and insights over the coming months via our blog.

If you would like to discuss the likely implications of Brexit on your school, please  get in touch with one of our academy school and education specialists at your nearest location or complete our online contact form.