#LetThemTeach: Largest primary MATs join campaign

England's two largest primary-only MATs call on government to remove barriers to recruiting international teachers

Will Hazell

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The country's two largest primary-only multi-academy trusts have joined the Tes #LetThemTeach campaign

REAch2, which runs 55 primaries across England, and The Elliot Foundation, which operates 27 primaries, have both thrown their weight behind the campaign to get the whole teaching profession added to the "shortage occupation list", which gives higher priority for visas.

The campaign was launched following a Tes investigation which revealed that desperately needed non-EU foreign teachers are being forced to quit their jobs and leave the country at short notice because they cannot renew their visas.

Sir Steve Lancashire, the chief executive of REAch2, said: “We need to remove any barriers to teachers who want to teach, which is why we are keen to support the Let Them Teach campaign.

"Any move to bring in more talented professionals to the teaching community can only be a positive thing.”

'Stop restricting teacher talent pool'

Hugh Greenway, the chief executive of The Elliot Foundation, said: "The Elliot Foundation is delighted to lend its support to Tes, the teaching unions, the Chartered College of Teaching and the chair of the Education Select Committee in asking government to add the whole teaching profession to the shortage occupation lists for UK visas.

"It is hard enough retaining the teachers we already have without the government making it harder by restricting our talent pool.

"All too often the primary sector is left out of initiatives to attract people into teaching, such as the forgiveness of student debt or the shortage occupation list, which currently only serve the secondary sector.

"Great teachers who want to come to this country should be welcomed with open arms."

Tes has created a parliamentary petition to stop non-EU international teachers from being turned away from Britain.

If the petition hits 10,000 signatures, the government is obliged to formally respond to it. If it hits 100,000 signatures, the issue will be considered for a debate in Parliament.

To sign the petition, click here.

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Will Hazell

Will Hazell

Will Hazell is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @whazell

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