OAT academies 'IN or OUT' in the EU Referendum debate

Students from across many of our OAT academies have been taking time out of their day to debate and discuss the EU Referendum over the last few weeks.

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Students have revealed discussions where they are worried about their futures but not overly concerned about immigration, and extremely dismissive of politicians. A vast majority wanted to remain inside the political and monetary union, some were critical how it operates and some admitted they would be voting in a different direction to their parents.

Samama Tahir, 19, from Ormiston Bushfield Academy said: “I believe the EU is an outdated system and that we should not bear countries like Greece with huge debts.”

"I see the benefits as well. I’m undecided and there needs to be a radical reform. David Cameron says we need to renegotiate with the EU, but I do not see how we can.”

Luke Woods, 19, from Ormiston Bushfield Academy thinks the economic impact is the biggest factor for him wanting to remain and said: “The EU is our main trading partner and if we vote 'leave' there is a risk of an economic crash, and we are still recovering from the last economic crash.”

The one person out of 14 who definitely wanted the UK to exit the EU was Conor Proudlock, 17, a student at Ormiston Bushfield Academy and said: “I do not see a lot of benefits from staying in, like security. I do agree it may be better for travel in some ways to stay in but talking from an optimistic point of view I feel we become a better nation in the whole if we leave. It’s a risk and we are being held back by the laws of the EU.”

Students at Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy have also been using their democratic skills to vote whether they should stay in the EU or leave. Their results will be shared with students and compared to the national picture.

It’s really positive to see many academies getting involved in healthy and lively debate as part of the EU Referendum, whilst understanding the role of democracy in the UK as one of our fundamental British values.