'Severe' teacher recruitment crisis is hitting pupils' results, heads warn

School leaders say the government should make it easier to recruit teachers from abroad

Richard Vaughan

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More than half of secondary school leaders believe the teacher recruitment crisis is “so severe” it is having an impact on the students’ GCSE results, according to a new survey. 

The heads want the government to make it easier for them to hire teachers from overseas.

In a poll by the Association of School and College Leaders, 51 per cent of respondents said that teacher shortages were affecting GCSE performance, while a further 23 per cent said they were hitting A-level and AS-level results.

Some 80 per cent of school leaders believed the recruitment situation was “worse or significantly worse” than a year ago.

The findings have been sent as evidence of the need for teaching to be placed on the shortage occupation list”, which is decided by the Migration Advisory Committee.

The MAC, which is part of the Home Office, is gathering evidence to ascertain whether schools should be allowed to recruit teachers from English-speaking countries outside of the European Economic Area.

Under new laws, workers from outside the EU who earn less than £35,000 and have been in the UK for five years will have to leave.

'Give schools another option'

Currently, the teaching subjects on the shortage occupation list are mathematics, physics and chemistry. But the ASCL believes that teacher shortages are now so serious that the list needs to be extended to cover teaching in general, as is the case with nursing.

In the survey, 41 per cent of respondents said they had recruited teachers from outside the EEA.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the ASCL, said teaching shortages were widespread across many subjects.

“Making it easier to recruit teachers from overseas will not solve the underlying problem, but it at least gives school leaders another option in dealing with the immediate crisis,” he added.

“The government must get to grips with tackling this issue and we would be very willing to work with them on developing a strategy.”

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Richard Vaughan

Richard has been writing about politics, policy and technology in education for nearly five years after joining TES in 2008. He joined TES from the building press having been a reporter and then later news editor at the Architects’ Journal. Before then he studied at Cardiff University’s school of journalism. Richard can be found tweeting at @richardvaughan1

Find me on Twitter @RichardVaughan1

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