Corbyn warns Brexit could make teacher recruitment crisis worse

13th November 2017 at 19:03
Jeremy Corbyn will warn about teacher recruitment.
Labour leader to call for chancellor to improve education funding in next week's budget

Brexit could worsen the teacher recruitment crisis if the government does not secure the rights of EU nationals living in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn is set to warn.

The Labour leader is due to use an address to the Association of Colleges in Birmingham today to urge the chancellor Philip Hammond to increase school funding in next week’s budget.

He is expected to say: "It's no exaggeration to say that education is in a perilous state: funding has been cut year upon year, the attainment gap is widening and the curriculum has narrowed as courses have been cut.

"We are already suffering from a recruitment crisis in the teaching profession and that will only get worse if the government fails to secure the rights of EU nationals currently living here."

He will point to figures showing that in 2015-16, 4,795 qualified teachers from the European Economic Area, which includes the 28 EU members states as well as four other European countries, were given qualified teacher status here.

This represented a 10 per cent rise on the previous year.

Investment the answer

This week, a survey conducted for the Academies Show found that two-thirds of school leaders expect recruitment at their schools to get worse over the next two years.

The Labour leader will say Mr Hammond needs to re-set government policy to protect the economy from the possible fall-out from Brexit.

"A bad Brexit deal risks making existing weaknesses in our economy – low investment, low productivity and low pay - even worse," he will say.

"Brexit should instead give us the impetus to tackle our productivity crisis, which is making our country poorer.

"The answer lies in investment: in infrastructure, new technologies and people. But instead, the government has cut the schools budget, cut college funding and saddled students with a lifetime of debt.

"Next week's budget is an opportunity to break with that damaging record – and it must be taken."

Tes has contacted the DfE for a comment.

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