European teachers awarded QTS down 35%

The number of teachers from Europe given QTS in England has plummeted since Brexit vote, new figures show

The number of teachers from Europe gaining QTS to teach in England has plummeted since the Brexit vote, new figures show

The number of European teachers given qualified teacher status in England has dropped by 35 per cent since the vote to leave the European Union.

The Teaching Regulation Agency’s annual report and accounts, published today, shows that 3,103 QTS awards were made to qualified teachers from the European Economic Area in the financial year 2018-19 – down 35 per cent from a peak of 4,795 in 2015-16.

And the figures show that the number of European teachers given QTS in 2018-19 was down 12 per cent from 2017-18, when 3,527 teachers were awarded QTS.


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The Brexit referendum was held in June 2016, when 52 per cent of those taking part voted to leave the European Union.

Teachers from overseas

The new figures come amid growing uncertainty about the impact of Brexit, with a leaked government document showing that a no-deal Brexit could cost schools up to £85 million.

Teachers need QTS in order to take up a teaching post in England in a maintained primary, secondary or special school or a non-maintained special school, as well as some academies.

Overseas teachers who are fully qualified in the EEA (including Switzerland) or in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA can be awarded QTS with no requirement for further training.

The figures also show that the two EEA countries with more than 10 per cent of the total number of teachers given QTS status were Spain (1,365 teachers) and Greece (478 teachers).

There was also a slight rise in the number of QTS awards given to teachers from outside the EEA – up from 1,477 in 2017-18 to 1,530 in 2018-19.

This breaks down as 495 teachers from the USA, 467 teachers from Australia, 346 teachers from Canada and 222 teachers from New Zealand.

Teachers who are not fully qualified to teach in the countries covered by the agreement, or who are from countries outside of the agreement, are allowed to teach unqualified in maintained schools for a four-year period of grace while they achieve QTS by another route.

The TRA annual report notes: “Obtaining QTS does not necessarily mean that qualified teachers from overseas are currently now teaching in England.”

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