Teacher shortage fears amidst Brexit uncertainty

Teacher shortage fears amidst Brexit uncertainty

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New statistics reveal there is a worrying shortage of teachers across the country, as the uncertainty of Brexit deters European teachers from working in the UK.

With 57% of British schools historically relying on European teachers, data from the 2017/18 Education Policy Institute report found that there has been a 25% drop in European teachers qualifying in the UK, compared to previous years.

Whilst the government failed to fill over 50% of teaching jobs last year, shortages in almost every subject except English, History, Biology and Physical Education have seen classes grow and standards drop.

Alongside this, due to longer working hours and a greater workload, teachers have been resigning before retirement age, placing an ever greater strain on the education system in the UK.

Ian Hartwright, senior policy adviser at the National Association of Headteachers, 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.”

Whilst Theresa May’s chequers plan guaranteed EU nationals security in the UK until 2020, the no-deal Brexit which may prevail, promises even less.

It is predicted that after the UK leaves the European Union, European citizens will have to apply for visas to reside in the UK, meaning they will have to meet the £30,000 annual salary threshold.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “The education secretary has made clear his commitment to recruiting more teachers into our schools, and our upcoming Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy will also help address this.”

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