The Issue

The Issue

Each half term Burnet News Club members discuss a new issue in the news. Clubs all over the UK explore the same issues at the same time, sharing their views in sessions at school and here on the online Hub. On this page club members can see all the news content and resources that we provide to support their discussions on each issue.

'The Issue' is a six-hour scheme of work. Each scheme of work leads students through a unique process to critically engage with the issue. Our schemes of work include multimedia current affairs content designed with journalists at The Economist, weekly session guides, and interactive activities. It is only available to Burnet News Club members. If you are interested in joining the club, please email You can see a sample of the current issue here, and all issues from past school years are available to Burnet News Club schools here.

Current issue
Catalonia: In it together or independent?

On October 27th 2017, the Spanish region of Catalonia declared that it no longer wanted to be part of Spain. In response, the Spanish government took control of the region.

The move followed what the Spanish government said was an “illegal” referendum in Catalonia on October 1st, in which 90% of Catalans who voted said they wanted to leave Spain. The snag was that only 42% of the region’s residents turned out to vote. That means that less than half the people in Catalonia voted for independence.

Many Catalans, however, have long been unhappy being ruled by Madrid, the capital of Spain. They think Madrid bosses them around, does not respect their Catalonian history and different language, and keeps too much of the money the rich Catalan region generates.

This is one example of a group of people considering breaking away from a larger group. Around the world there is an increasing number of groups wanting to break away. Some of these are within a country and some are countries themselves wanting to break away from bigger groups they have special ties with. Throughout history, regions and countries have both grouped together and moved apart. But recently, more groups seem keen to move apart.

This issue will look at whether it’s better to be independent or to be in it together.

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