29 June 2016
The result of the EU Referendum has caused confusion and questions across our country.
Please know that a huge majority of our school and importantly the youngest voters nationally, voted to stay in the EU and this reflects the diversity and inclusivity of a generation.
What will happen next is difficult to predict. A long road of negotiations between the UK and EU lies ahead although it is unclear when this process - likely to take years - will begin. The German government said Britain should be given a reasonable amount of time to negotiate its withdrawal.
There is a formal legal process for withdrawing from the EU - enshrined in Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty - although it has never been invoked before.
Mr Cameron has said it should be up to his successor to decide when to activate Article 50 by notifying the European Council. His successor is unlikely to be in place until September at the earliest as the Conservative party will now need to follow a process to find a replacement.
Leaving the EU is not an automatic process - it has to be negotiated with the remaining 27 members and ultimately approved by them by qualified majority. These negotiations are meant to be completed within two years although many believe it will take much longer.
My role as your headteacher is not a political one and I want everyone to be clear on the following:
Every person, whoever you are or wherever you’re from, you are equal in our eyes. The community in-and-around Shirley is rich and diverse; and we are better for it. We are truly representational of modern Britain; 34 languages are spoken at USH and we're proud of that fact. Should proposed changes to your rights occur, I will protect and defend everyone’s right to work and learn here and I will do everything in my power to take on those who suggest things should be otherwise.
Our school population; you, your teachers and your parents are a special family and we will be not be divided by the outcome of this Referendum. We live in a democracy and must accept it (even if we as individuals didn't vote for it) or we cannot call ourselves democratic.
Please continue to be understanding and supportive to each other as our country makes sense of these events.
We are Upper Shirley High.