The country’s children will be forced to clear up the Brexit “chaos” left by politicians, a headteachers’ union leader has said.
Cutting back on the younger generation’s education was a risk as they will have to repair the damage, Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) union, told its annual conference in Telford.
He added that the UK will need the “best educated and productive generation we have ever known” whatever the outcome of Brexit.
“Our politicians have left our country in chaos. Our international standing is at its lowest ebb. Our future is uncertain,” he said in his keynote speech. “Let’s be honest, no matter if you are a Brexiteer or a Remainer we can all agree our political leaders have been found wanting on this one.”
He warned: “Whatever the outcome it will be the generation being educated now that we will depend upon to repair the damage. If we short-change them now, and cut back on their education now, we do so at our own risk.”
Mr Whiteman told hundreds of school leaders that the next generation will need to be equipped to undertake roles that have not yet been imagined.
He said: “We will need school leavers confident in reading, writing and recalling their times tables – but if we limit our measure of achievement to this we will cheat our children and our future.
“We need young adults leaving education confident of their place in the world.”
His comments came after headteachers voted in favour of stepping up a campaign against school funding cuts – with possible industrial action on the table.
School leaders said that children deserved better.
Closing the conference, which saw education secretary Damian Hinds address headteachers, Mr Whiteman said: “We will work with government, we will advise, and we will campaign with all vigour to highlight what is wrong in the system and encourage those in power to make the right decisions.”