State boarding schools have called on the government to provide “urgent clarity and support” over Brexit.
The Boarding Schools’ Association’s State Boarding Forum has written to schools minister Lord Agnew warning that losing EU students “will be a threat to the viability of boarding at many state boarding schools and a significant loss of revenues and in some cases local jobs”.
Robin Fletcher, chief executive of the association, said: “Of the 5,500 boarders at state boarding schools, around 10 per cent are from the EU.
Impact of Brexit on boarding schools
"The draft Immigration Bill makes no reference to the status of these EU boarders and we therefore call on the government to provide urgent clarity and support for our members.”
The association’s state boarding forum, which represents around 40 English state schools, says that it also has practical concerns about students from the European Economic Area (EEA) who are currently in England.
In its letter, it calls for the government to “set out as soon as possible what arrangements you will be making to help state boarding schools through this complex and difficult process.”
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “International students, including those from the EU, bring huge cultural and economic benefits to the UK.
“The government has confirmed that EEA citizens who come to the UK before the end of the implementation period (in the case of a negotiated exit from the EU) or before 29 March 2019 (in the case of a no deal exit) will continue to have access to state-funded boarding schools. If they wish to stay beyond the end of 2020 they will need to apply for leave to remain in the UK through the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme.”