There is a well recognised recruitment crisis within the education profession in England and Wales. The government recently told us that there are now 15,000 more teachers in the profession than there were in 2010. However, this figure is less impressive when you consider that there are 363,628 more children, too! So, how can EU staff help us with the teaching shortage here in the UK?
Teachers are leaving, too!
In addition to the growth in student numbers, news reports have cited that as many as 50% of our current teachers in post want to leave the profession within the next decade. So, who will teach our children?
Government incentives to train
The government does offer a range of incentives for students to take up teacher training. However, not enough are being enrolled onto courses, and we still have an issue of those wanting to leave the profession at the other end. Teaching is currently like a giant leaky barrel – more staff seem to come out of the bottom than we can add to the top. So, where else can we top it up from?
Teaching is currently like a giant leaky barrel – more staff seem to come out of the bottom than we can add to the top.
While we are figuring out how to incentivise more people to train as teachers here in the UK, we must look to other possible sources of staff for the profession. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Ireland are popular choices for overseas recruitment, since many people in these countries speak English as a first language and their education systems are not terribly dissimilar to our own. However, there are visa and qualification issues to overcome, and these can sometimes create a situation where a staff member simply can’t stay on in a job, despite them being great teachers! The solution – EU trained staff who (currently at least!) do not suffer from these issues for the most part.
But what about Brexit?
Brexit created a lot of uncertainty about the job market for EU trained staff. However, it should be remembered that Britain leaving
the EU is more than likely still quite a long way off – and there are some indications that it may not happen at all. In addition, it is looking likely that free movement of people from other EU countries into and out of the UK for work and pleasure will not be restricted by much, if at all. So, working in England still represents a great opportunity for EU citizens.
How good does your English need to be?
When teaching, there is a lot of verbal and written communication involved. For that reason, spoken and written English skills must be of a high standard. However, if you have specialised skills – particularly with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), these can sometimes be more important than a high standard of English, so it can still be worth applying for jobs in the UK.
So are EU trained teachers and support staff the answer to the UK teaching crisis?
The answer is no. Not on their own. But it is important that we do all we can to attract staff from ALL possible sources. Until the profession here becomes OVER staffed, we cannot afford to bury our heads in the sand and ignore well trained staff from wherever they come! We must support our own recruitment efforts, we must attract staff from overseas – and most importantly of all – we must do what we can to make teaching an attractive and well respected career choice, not only to attract new trainees, but to encourage those already in post to stay!
EU trained school staff – our doors are open to you!
As a company which understands the importance of the above, we invite teachers and support staff from all countries and backgrounds to register or send us their CV. We work with mainstream and special schools across England and Wales and we know that everyone has something to offer. All schools are different, and all people are different. We are about finding the right match – see if we can find yours today!