17th January 2019
Europa School UK features in Brexit debate in Parliament as students face tough choices
“I share [John Howell’s] admiration for the Europa School and its very high academic standards” Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards.
Europa School UK, a unique multilingual state school in Oxfordshire, currently has a high profile in Parliament and the Department for Education while they try to navigate the effect a ‘Hard Brexit’ will have on their year 11 students. With no transition deal an entire year group may be forced to seek new schools to complete their education as the European Baccalaureate will no longer be an option for them.
Despite being rated as an all-round ‘Good’ school in their recent Ofsted inspection in December 2018, and praise being heaped on the school from all quarters, students have been told to apply for places elsewhere. A move the majority would prefer not to make, especially considering Ofsted’s very positive evaluation of the Europa School UK sixth form.
“Students in the sixth form achieve excellent outcomes as a result of the highly effective teaching that they receive. They play a leading role in the life of the school and are well prepared for their next steps.” Ofsted Inspection report: Europa School UK, 5–6 December 2018
The school, which only opened to secondary students in September 2017, five years after it first came into being in 2012 as a primary school, is facing substantial financial and political challenges and no-deal Brexit will cause damage to both the students and the school.
The broad curriculum, which has won acclaim from both Ofsted and the Department for Education is taught with a particular emphasis on language, with pupils aged four to 11 learning all subjects in two languages, English and French, German or Spanish. From 11 the secondary students continue with humanities in the second language which are compulsory to 18.
Nick Gibb, State School Standards’ Minister, acknowledged Europa School’s difficult situation and has promised to continue supporting the school. “To implement any alternative qualification for the year 11’s will require substantial financial and practical backing from the DfE and we are willing to work with them on this contingency plan.” said Andrew Parker, Chair of Governors, Europa School UK.
Europa School UK is keen to build on its early success, ensuring all their students benefit from its recent achievements. In July 2018 100% of the Year 13 students passed their baccalaureate and the results were third highest across all the whole European School network. Their success is not limited to the upper years, with the primary pupils proving via their SAT results that the bilingual model works at all levels.
“Staff, students and parents are committed to the Europa School UK and we have seen a huge wave of support for our school. We are all committed to find a solution for our year 11s and we would like to thank John Howell for his invaluable support” Lynn Wood.
Note for editors
* All through school (4-18)
* Opened in September 2012 with reception and Year 1 and 2, a new school year was added each September until 2017 when the whole of secondary was incorporated
*Primary phase children are taught via two languages, English for 2.5 days and either French, German or Spanish for the remainder of the week.
*Secondary students are exempt from GCSEs and their final exam is the European Baccalaureate, a broad curriculum of at least 9 subjects with humanities studied in a second language and compulsory mathematics and science.
Contact Lynn Wood for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org