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European angle

Your News Focus raised timely concerns about vetting procedures for agency teachers but failed to mention the impact on this of the Single European Act.

In the past few months our consultancy, which places a substantial number of supply teachers every week, has witnessed a growing number of European Union arrivals with no teaching experience and little spoken English, wishing to register with us.

The implications of EU regulations are that the Department for Education has little choice but to grant them Qualified Teacher Status permitting them to reach in British schools because they have been granted teaching licences in their own country, sometimes only on completion of a degree with a purely theoretical teaching element.

Although these applicants fail to meet our recruitment criteria, it is undeniable that they will find work through others with a less stringent selection process.

Furthermore, although Britain is now part of a single European market there is no centralised equivalent of a List 99 for Europe or a co-ordinated police checking system to assist the vetting procedure.

PAUL HOWELLS

Managing director

LHR Education

222-224 Northfield Avenue

London W13

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