Brexit’s impact on UK and Europe’s private schools
6th June 2019
Britain’s latest deadline to exit the European Union is set for October 31. Until then, private schools are stuck in a fog of uncertainty arising from the political impasse.
Despite Brexit-induced uncertainty, data from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) show many independent schools have recorded an increase in the number of pupils from European Economic Area (EEA) countries in the current academic year. Across the 1,364 ISC member schools, there are now a record 536,109 pupils, up from 529,164 in 2018.
Almost half (45 percent) of the 26,370 non-British pupils whose parents live in the UK come from EEA countries, an increase of three percent from last year.
ISC chairman, Barnaby Lenon, said: “While most independent schools are small schools serving their local community, some attract pupils of many different nationalities and these young people have a positive influence on our ability to understand other cultures as well as the country’s economy and our intellectual base.
“It is perhaps surprising to see an increase in the number of EEA pupils at ISC schools given the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, but clearly much value is placed on the broad all-round education independent schools offer, their inclusive environments, and commitment to supporting the development of globally conscious young people.”
Ministers have launched a new group to explore the benefits artificial intelligence can bring to the classroom
Nick Gibb, the schools minister, said the impact of AI technologies in the classroom “still remains largely unevidenced”, and wants to find out more about how it can help schools.
Responding to a written parliamentary question from the Conservative MP David Davis, Gibb said a new AI horizon scanning group has been launched to help Department for Education’s policy, digital and delivery teams “explore how AI may impact our policies, as well as the benefits it can bring to the education system”.
Davis asked what assessment the DfE has made of “the potential benefit of artificial intelligence in the classroom”.
In response, Gibb, said AI was a “complex, emerging area”, and said his department “has seen some outstanding examples of AI and machine learning being used within schools and colleges in England to support teachers to deliver curriculum content as well as to automate burdensome non-teaching tasks such as marking”.
No further details of the AI horizon scanning group have been announced.
Carl Hendrick, the head of research at Wellington College argued that without knowledge there can be no meaningful analysis and warned that narratives around technology, AI and a fourth industrial revolution heralded “a troubling era for the teaching profession.”