“Prepare students for an international future” is one of the LRGS governors’ strategic priorities. The school has long enjoyed global links – even in the 19th century, some of our boarders came by ship from as far away as Ireland and India.
Boarding lifts the school’s eyes to wider horizons. Most of our boarders are relatively local, but all our pupils have classmates whose homes are overseas – whether Germany, Hong Kong, Spain or the Isle of Man!
Boarders with EU passports will be completely unaffected by the referendum result for at least the next two years. The Boarding Schools Association has already highlighted this issue, and will be pressing for clarity. British education has great international appeal, and we will hope to be able to continue offer this opportunity to EU boarders for many years to come.
Our international links extend beyond boarding, of course.
Trips this year have visited France, Germany, Spain and Greece. The EU-funded Erasmus scheme sent students and staff both ways between Poland, Germany, Italy, Hungary and Finland. Musicians toured Italy and cricketers played in Barbados. Half of Year 8 are off to Normandy next weekend, and a Sixth Form group is preparing for expedition and charity work in Nepal this summer.
Modern languages are thriving, now including Mandarin. EU students at Lancaster University volunteer as A-level language assistants, and some of last year’s Sixth Formers left for university in the Netherlands, USA, Hong Kong and even Bulgaria!
And of course the school has many pupils, parents and staff (including me) who were born abroad.
So what does Brexit mean for LRGS?
The only certainty is that globalisation continues apace. Beyond Leave or Remain, we will continue to promote cultural understanding and equip our students for their European and global futures. It is more vital than ever.