Recognition for foreign teachers

So hiring lecturers abroad is now seen by David Hunter and Lifelong Learning UK as a solution to our recruitment problem (FE Focus, January 13). I hope it spurs them on to set up an efficient recognition system for overseas teaching qualifications, as this appears to be even more difficult in FE than in the school sector.

I have three colleagues with overseas teaching qualifications, none of whom has been able to get them recognised.

Two are excellent teachers and teacher trainers who have been in post for many years and have subsequently added higher-level qualifications to their portfolios. Should they apply for jobs in another college, however, they still risk being required to take a Cert Ed, although they both teach on teacher education courses at that level.

The third is a young teacher with excellent overseas academic and teaching qualifications which we are now struggling to have recognised. The academic qualifications have been rated as equivalent to UK ones, but no one seems willing to assess or approve her as a qualified teacher. The most common suggestion is just to do a Cert Ed anyway - as if that were an easy option!

I am not suggesting that we should take all overseas qualifications at face value, but we do need a fair system of recognising them, so that well-qualified teachers do not have to jump through unnecessary hoops when they join us in the UK.

Mary Osmaston

Head of ESOL

Bolton community college

Manchester Road

Bolton

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