The mayor of London has thrown his support behind the Tes campaign to stop non-EU international teachers being turned away from our classrooms.
Sadiq Khan told Tes that there was “no doubt” that teacher recruitment and retention were particular challenges in the capital, which he said had the highest proportion of schools with vacancies and unqualified teachers in the country.
The #LetThemTeach campaign was launched after a Tes investigation revealed that desperately needed international teachers were being forced to quit their jobs and leave the country at short notice because they could not renew their visas.
Tes is calling for the entire teaching profession to be added to the “shortage occupation list”, which gives higher priority for visas each month.
'Put all teachers on shortage occupation list'
Currently only teachers in four subjects – maths, physics, computer science and Mandarin – are on the list.
The mayor said that although he has set up Teach London, which helps potential teachers to find the right trainee places in the capital, “it’s clear that London schools need help from the government if we’re going to get the teachers we need”.
He said: “London has a proud history of welcoming people from other countries, and, as the most diverse capital in the world, we’ve seen the huge social and economic boost that attracting the world’s finest talent brings.
“It’s not enough for international teachers in only four subjects to be on the ‘shortage occupation list’ for work visas when we are faced with such a shortage in other subjects and at primary level.
“It’s time the government acknowledged that there are well-qualified teachers who are ready and able to help tackle our severe teaching shortage.
“That’s why I’m proud to pledge my support to Tes’ #LetThemTeach campaign.”
Please support our campaign and sign the #LetThemTeach petition. If the petition hits 10,000 signatures, the government is obliged to formally respond to it. If it hits 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for a debate in Parliament. To sign it, click here.
Find out more about Tes’ campaign by visiting the Let Them Teach homepage.