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