Four more multi-academy trusts (MATs) have thrown their weight behind the Tes #LetThemTeach campaign.
Astrea Academy Trust, the Co-op Academies Trust, Reach South Academy Trust and the Academies Enterprise Trust – the largest MAT in the country – have all backed the campaign for teachers to be prioritised 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.
To stop this from happening, #LetThemTeach is calling for the whole teaching profession to be added to the government’s "shortage occupation list", which prioritises visas for those in certain job sectors.
Commenting on Reach South’s support for the campaign, chief executive Dean Ashton said: “Domestically we are facing a crisis in this country when it comes to teacher recruitment and retention.
“At Reach South, we’re still in a position to attract talented professionals, but to exacerbate the situation by losing high-quality teachers seems to be an own goal against common sense.
“Our concern is that thousands and thousands of British children will miss out as a result, which is why we are supporting the #LetThemTeach campaign.”
Frank Norris, director of the Co-op Academies Trust, said: “It is essential that we attract and retain the highest possible calibre of teachers across the whole curriculum that we can, so we are fully supportive of the Tes #LetThemTeach campaign.”
A spokesperson for Astrea added: “It’s a tough recruitment environment out there for the sector right now, and we need to be doing everything we can to encourage teachers to the UK.”
The support of the four trusts follows news last month that the two largest primary-only MATs in the country – REAch2 and the Elliot Foundation – are backing the campaign.
Tes has created a parliamentary petition for teaching to be added to the shortage-occupation list.
If the petition receives 10,000 signatures, the government will be 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.