'I would have to calm my own fears before speaking to my EU-national colleagues and my sixth formers from EU countries'

24th June 2016 at 11:11
EU referendum, politics, Brexit, remain
Last week, this Dutch principal of a Liverpool school wrote about the need to support EU nationals working and studying in Britain's schools. Today, he reacts to the news that his worst fears have been made reality

This morning I sat on the bed of one of my children, held her hand, and told her that Brexit had won.

She asked me whether that meant she would need a visa to stay and study at a British university, which she has ambitious plans to do, having lived all of the life she can remember in Liverpool.

I told her I was sure she would be able to. I pretended to know something which I do not know, to protect her from fear – perhaps even from my own fear.

Indeed, bicycling to school, I realised I would have to calm my own fear and confusion before speaking to my EU-national colleagues and my sixth formers from various EU countries.

Project Sorrow

They are as dazed as I am. Slight moisture around the eyes. We woke up in a different country, one that Donald Trump praises. The most disquieting thoughts we share are that our adopted homeland is not quite what we thought it was. It is something surreal, Kafkaesque.

Overdramatic perhaps. Perhaps the seeds of Project Fear have been watered into large trees in our minds, trees which do not allow us to see the forest. A glimmer has appeared on the horizon: the pupils in our school voted for remain by percentages higher than Islington.

But, as far as this Friday morning goes, we are all working on Project Sorrow.

Hans van Mourik Broekman is a Dutch national and principal of Liverpool College

TES and Speakers for Schools are hosting a post-referendum discussion panel to be beamed live into your schools, at 11am on 30 June. Tweet your questions to @tes and @speakrs4schools

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