Rules to be relaxed for foreign teachers to work in schools in England

Posted: 22nd September 2022

Qualified teachers from any country in the world will be able to work in schools in England if they have equivalent credentials and at least one year’s classroom experience, ministers have said.

The change, which comes into force next year, will open up opportunities for teachers from countries outside the 39 where teaching qualifications are currently recognised, which include across Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. Until now, teachers from other countries had to pay to retrain before they could teach in English schools.

The schools minister, Robin Walker, said: “The expertise we draw upon shouldn’t be limited by geographical location,” and that he wanted England to be “the most attractive place in the world to be a teacher – that means world-class training, high standards and crucially, opportunity.”

Early career teachers will receive the same induction period as teachers in England, including reduced timetables and access to a mentor and development. They will need to have completed teacher training of the same academic standard as in England, including holding a university degree, and be required to demonstrate proficient English.

Candidates will be able to apply for qualified teacher status, and if the government considers that their qualifications match those of teachers in the UK, they can apply for jobs in schools, which will sponsor their skilled worker visa if their application is successful.

Headteachers said the move was a sign of the “very severe teacher shortages being experienced by schools and colleges”.

Julie McCulloch, policy director at the Association of School and College Leaders, welcomed the move, but added: “The government repeatedly misses its own initial teacher training targets and far too many teachers are then leaving the profession early in their careers.”

She said this left schools struggling to fill vacancies and that this “particularly affects those which face the greatest challenges”.

“The problem is that schools and colleges are underfunded by the government, subjected to an excessively harsh accountability regime, and that the government has presided over a lengthy period of pay austerity which has seen the real value of salaries eroded over many years,” she said.

She called for “a more strategic approach backed up with more investment” since teaching is a “fantastic job but it is not surprising that we are struggling to recruit and retain staff when they are worn-down and underpaid”.

Source: The Guardian

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