Statistical data about the nationality or origins of school teachers is not recorded by the Department for Education. It is well documented, however, that many schools are facing a teacher recruitment and retention crisis – especially in London. Anecdotally, we have observed that many schools are increasingly looking outside of the UK and to other EU countries to fill these vacancies.

A key piece of law that allows maintained schools to recruit from the rest of the EU is Council Directive 2005/36/EC, which allows for qualified school teachers from other EEA member states (EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) to apply for qualified teacher status in England. It is unclear at this point what laws will, or will not, be translated over or replicated once the UK leaves the EU; however, if this law were to not be replaced with the same or an equivalent, it could limit the ease with which maintained schools recruit teachers from the EU. One post-EU option for the UK is to join the EEA, which would give rise to a good probability of this arrangement staying in place; however, again, this is all to be decided is due course. Similarly, any limitation on the free movement of people could also be a barrier for schools recruiting from the EU.

Academies are in a different position, however. Academies, as independent schools, are not required to employ teachers with qualified teacher status. Any limitation on the free movement of people could be limiting, as it would be with maintained schools. Private/independent schools are in the same position as academies.

Any barrier to schools being able to fill vacancies could lead to a further reliance on supply staff, thus increasingly the already high costs that this practice creates.

We would advise that it is likely that major policy decisions will be held off until the current government is in a more stable position. This has already been highlighted in a letter by Sam Gyimah, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education, dated 27 June 2016, informing the Education Select Committee that he is not yet in a position to confirm the outcome of the first stage of the national funding formulae consultation to a select committee hearing scheduled to take place on 6 July 2016.

BWB’s Education team will continue to provide updates on Brexit as matters progress. To receive these directly to your inbox, please sign up to our education mailing list here.

Posted on 01/07/2016 in Brexit Briefcase

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