England’s schools face staffing crisis as EU teachers stay at home

Teachers from EU countries applying for the right to work in English schools fell by a quarter in a single year, according to official data. There were 3,525 people from member states awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) in 2017-18, which allows them to work in most state and special schools. A 25% fall on the previous year, it included a 17% drop in applicants from Spain, an 18% drop from Greece and a 33% drop from Poland. The Observer reports.

The fall comes after repeated warnings of a staffing shortage. Last summer the Education Policy Institute said that teaching shortages would become severe, with bigger classes and falling expertise as a result.

Ian Hartwright, senior policy adviser at the National Association of Head Teachers said: “We found from our work that there is no evidence to suggest they [EU teachers] are displacing UK teachers – in fact, they were probably filling gaps and mitigating a recruitment and retention crisis in teaching here and positively improving the lives of young people in England and the UK.”

Modern languages could be among the subjects most affected by the fall in European applications to teach in England, he added.

The Labour party said plans for a post-Brexit immigration policy with asalary threshold of £30,000 for visa eligibility would hit teaching.

“The Tories have created a crisis in teacher recruitment and retention and their shambolic Brexit negotiations are making things worse,” said shadow schools minister Mike Kane.

Read more England’s schools face staffing crisis as EU teachers stay at home

Have you noticed this? Is your school having problems recruiting staff? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or  just someone who cares about education and has something to get off  your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.

We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!



Facebook backs Government’s online safety lessons for school pupils
Male primary teachers speak of fears of being perceived as suspicious for working with young children
Categories: Employment, Overseas, Primary, Secondary and Teaching.


  1. Anonymous

    This confirms what many school leaders were realising through anecdotal evidence. Brexit was having a significant impact on teacher supply, which of itself is in significant decline. The maintenance of teacher supply is a core duty of the Secretary of State.
    This impacts on both the quantity and the quality of teacher supply. We are culturally poorer and intellectually diminished as a result of the policies to reduce the flow of professionals from other European nations wanting to work in our system.

  2. “This confirms”…

    Alternatively it suggests that the poor EU darlings have realised expectations and demands in England also apply to them and so they are just behaving the same way as English people. Shocker.

    However, it does confirm there in no lie, distortion, or spin that Remainiac liars will not use in the Project Fear betrayal of the nation.

  3. Judith Wilson

    There has never been any question of “the flow of professionals from other European nations wanting to work in our system” being adversely affected by Brexit. This country has always welcomed, and will always welcome, people from anywhere in the world who want to come and work here. Stop scaremongering, ‘Anonymous’ and others like you. Well said, gov2!

Let us know what you think...