It's been a dramatic time following the EU referendum - a result few saw coming. The resignation of a prime minister. Recrimination and infighting in both of Britain's major political parties; calls for a repeat vote and England's subsequent exit from the European Championships - Brexit, Regrexit and sporting humiliation all in such a short space of time! And Friday isn't even over yet. It’s been a tumultuous time in politics and I guess we are all trying to make head and tail of what is going on. I wrote last week, will I be writing ‘From the Head Master’ next Friday from a different political landscape. And the answer to that is – I certainly am. I wrote the following to staff last Friday after the decision to leave was announced and I would like to share this with you today.
After some 40 years, our close and influential relationship with the European Union has come to an abrupt and bitter end with us leaving the EU, an institution that has been part of our cultural fabric for decades, and the resignation of our prime minister. A truly monumental day for the UK to say the least. We are now sailing in uncharted territory with many unknowns which will inadvertently affect our working conditions, pensions, tax, economy, house prices, security and mortgages amongst other things. It will be a difficult and complex minefield to navigate. Many of you will be disappointed in this morning's outcome to leave the EU; and many of you will also be elated with the outcome. However, it's important we respect the decision of the British people (and that of each other) and come together, putting aside our differences and work together in order to achieve the best for our students, our school and ultimately our country. The values of tolerance, respect and kindness mean so much now. This morning I have been working with the BSA and the DfE to understand the wide-ranging implications of Brexit for our EU students - the vote to leave has brought much consternation amongst many of our state boarding heads; for the time being it is business as usual. Boarders with EU passports will be completely unaffected by the referendum result for at least the next two years. The Boarding Schools Association has already highlighted this issue, and will be pressing for clarity. British education has great international appeal, and we will hope to be able to continue offer this opportunity to EU boarders for many years to come.
Many of our students, including those from the EU, will not fully understand the implications of leaving the EU, I'm not even sure many of us do either. So they will need plenty of support and guidance to help them come to terms with this decision which has been made against a back drop of divisiveness over the past few weeks from both sides of the political spectrum. We will need to think long and hard about what our British values are and what they stand for. I don't think we quite realise the scale of the political change ahead of us with this historic decision which will permanently change the course of our country. It's the biggest political change that our country will have experienced for the past half century and I hope our leaders are well equipped and prepared to reassure and navigate us through this political storm.
We have spoken to our students this week about the EU referendum result and for us to continue to live by our values and we have continued to educate and provide as many opportunities to our students. This week our U15s played at the Wells Cathedral Cricket tournament where the likes of the MCC, Bryanston and Blundell’s School were being represented and our boys won their match against the Wells U15s, which is a great achievement. Man of the match was Jack Ives who took 5 wickets. The ‘End of Year Art Show’ highlighted all that is outstanding about Sexey’s – creativity and diversity - and the art that was on display was stunning; I am sure we will give Hauser & Wirth a run for their money! And speaking of running, we have ‘the Race for Life’ around Bruton after school today, so do come down and support our students, staff and friends of the school and give generously to Cancer Research UK.