Nearly 3,000 school leaders responded to this poll. 43% said ‘education’; 37% opted for Brexit; and 20% said ‘other’.
It wouldn’t be a huge leap to expect education to be high up the priority list of voting concerns for the sector – and this election has seen a divide in approaches from the main political parties towards education. However, with the dominance of Brexit in election debates and coverage, we might have anticipated this to come out top in our poll.
When we dug a bit deeper into the comments that school leaders submitted alongside their poll vote, we found a common thread of concern that until the Brexit issue is resolved, domestic issues such as education will not get the attention and consideration they deserve.
Although parties have made pledges to increase education funding and recruit more teachers, school leaders in general seem sceptical about any government’s ability to deliver on these promises, while the economic implications of Brexit remain unknown.
Also notable is that, among the 20% of poll respondents who selected ‘other’, climate change and the NHS were commonly cited in the accompanying comments as a top voting concern.
One thing is for certain: voting decisions are always complex and a wide range of factors will be taken into account by voters today. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results and what these mean for our members and other schools nationally.