EU Referendum Student Views

After having read an article in the childrens' newspaper FirstNews about the EU referendum one of our students, Katy, suggested that Maiden Erlegh in Reading students should be given an opportunity to listen to the arguments for both campaigns and then be able to vote themselves. She gathered together a small team of four and together they led our assembley on Friday 13th May.

Katy introduced the topic by explaining what the EU is and what a referendum is.  She followed this up with information about who will be eligible to vote in the referendum on Thursday 23rd June and why she thinks it is important for young people to understand the two arguments and form an opinion.

Ably assisted by Bethan and Damini, the two opposing arguments were presented to the rest of the school.  The girls summarised the 'out' campaign, championed by Boris Johnson as follows: "The EU is taking too much control and the UK wants more independence.  The supporters of this cause want the UK to have a new and positive relationship with the other EU countries and restore the UK's sovereignty which is being eroded by the EU."

In contrast, their summary of the 'in' campaign, led by David Cameron was,"It is better to stay in the EU to keep the existing good trade relationships with other countries. There will be a better chance of good jobs in the future and staying in the EU would help to prevent war in Europe as well as maintain the right of travellers to have free medical care when in other EU states."

Ella then explained the process for the secret ballot to be held in tutor groups after the assembly.  Each student had their own ballot paper which asked the official referendum question, "Should the UK remain in the EU?"

Katy ended the assembly with inspirational words of encouragement for students to "vote for what you think is right for your future life". 

The votes have now been collected and counted and the annoucement of the result was made today:

150 votes for the UK to remain in the EU.

4 votes for the UK to leave the EU. 

We are very proud that our students are taking an interest in current affairs in such a thoughtful and mature way.  Well done, girls for initiating this debate!

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