Bede’s EU Referendum Records ‘Remain’ Landslide
Last Friday, Bede’s held a school-wide EU referendum on the question every voting-age citizen of Great Britain will be faced with, "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?"
The whole School community had been invigorated by a series of student-led debates the week previous, organised by the Bede’s Politics and Economics Society.
Each of those discussions had explored the implications both of leaving and remaining within the European Union, and the intervening days had seen pupils and academic departments campaigning with posters displayed around school and some very vocal expressions of opinion in both directions.
When the big day finally came, Head of the Business Faculty Mr Parfitt and Head of Politics Mr Parker manned the polling station, which was set up in the Recital Room, and the first wave of break-time voting ensued.
“The whole process has been quite important for everyone at the School,” Mr Parker explained, “not least because so many of the children have very strong feelings about the European Union and the outcome of the actual referendum will have significant consequences for them, yet they will not have the opportunity to make their voices heard when voting day comes for the country.”
Mr Parker continued, “For other members of the student body, this referendum provided the opportunity to get involved in political discussions which they may not otherwise have had.
“As Politics is not on the National Curriculum and is not an officially recognised course up until A Level, we at Bede’s do everything we can to engage and inform students right from the First Year, and an opportunity like this one seemed too good to not seize.”
With the Recital Room quickly swamped, many pupils opted to return to cast their ballots at lunch time, after which votes were counted across the afternoon.
The final results were duly announced by Bede's Headmaster Dr Maloney in Stud Yard at the end of the School day, with a whopping 78% of Bede’s students voting to Remain in the EU, 20% voting Leave and the remaining 2% of votes consisting of Spoilt Ballots.
“The vote ended up being extremely pro-EU,” said Mr Parfitt after the fact, “which came as very little surprise to many on the faculty. The week preceding the vote had seen the children overwhelmingly expressing their support for remaining in the European Union and actually frequently voicing frustrations about being cut out of this all-important political decision.
“Their fears are that an older generation of voters will determine their fates but that they will have to live with the consequences. Who knows how right they are, but I for one was surprised how strong the pro-EU sentiment has turned out to be at Bede’s, and am glad that the students have been able to express their views in a tangible way within the School.”