• Brexit – More tough times ahead for schools

    Published: February 11 2019

    On 29 March 2019, the United Kingdom is expected to formally leave the European Union. As the terms of UK’S departure from the EU are still being negotiated many organisations both in public and private sector face uncertainty as the UK seeks to leave the single market.

    Undoubtedly, this will also have an impact on the Education sector. There is already a shortage of teachers in the UK which continues despite Brexit. There is increasing evidence of a crisis in teacher, and staff retention, just as the number of pupils and the demand for new teachers begins to increase sharply. The pressures of teaching and the ability to achieve higher basic pay, particularly in IT and STEM sectors may deter new recruits.

    Statistics published by the Department of Education (DfE) in relation to Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Census for the academic year 2018 to 2019 in England, show that 3,525 QTS awards made to qualified teachers from Europe which was a 25% decrease on the previous year which may imply that England is no longer an attractive option with Brexit looming.

    The Government’s immigration White Paper published in December 2018 sets out its plans for the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system. Following recommendations by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), it includes a number of proposals including a common visa system for all skilled workers regardless of where they are from, no cap on numbers of skilled workers and no requirement for a labour-market test. But it proposes retaining the current salary threshold for skilled overseas workers of £30,000 which may pose an issue on teaching professionals as many teachers do not earn more than the proposed minimum, and this may contribute to the teacher recruitment crisis.

    Also, the current system under which professional qualifications are automatically recognised across the EEA is likely to cease to apply post-Brexit, and European teachers could need further training to get QTS.

    The DfE finally published its long-awaited teacher recruitment and retention strategy on 28th January 2019. This was due to be published in early January 2019 but it was believed to have been held back until after the current Brexit issues were settled. Teacher recruitment and retention is one of the key issues within the Education sector and the strategy could be an important document in addressing these issues. The areas of priority will be school culture, teachers’ workload, support for early career teachers, extra financial retention incentives, flexible working practices and simplifying the process of becoming a teacher. However, with the current focus on Brexit and the changes that follow, the strategy may take a back seat and there may be a further delay in putting things into motion.

    How Kent HR can help with recruitment planning in your school

    In addition, it is important to consider the impact of post-Brexit on your school’s current workforce. Do you have plans in place to manage this change and support them?

    Kent HR can provide advice and guidance on recruitment, HR strategy and planning. Please fill out the enquiry form below or contact us for more information.

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