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Over the last extraordinary ten days we have been rung by education journalists expecting us to opine on what Brexit will mean for education.

There is, of course, only one honest answer at present - "who knows?"

With uncertainty about every aspect of our future - not least about our governance, macro and micro, anyone who purports to be able to predict such matters is a mere pundit.

There is, however, one thing we can be sure about. If we are to go it alone in the big wide world of markets, commerce, negotiating and deal-making, we will need professionals of the highest calibre. We will need far-sighted, innovative and responsible employers; we will need creative, expert and energetic employees. We need a working environment that will not be afraid to take risks, experiment, invest and trust. Above all, we need world-beating skills and knowledge and the confidence to trust in our unique capacity for inventiveness and achievement.

Osborne is cutting business taxes. In the longer term, this could, of course, help exports and GDP. In the short term, this could mean less money for the one thing that will help us survive the current crisis - education.

Whoever becomes our next leader and forms the next administration, education at all levels from primary to post-graduate, MUST be the first priority. Our future depends on it.

July 2016

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