Warning over £4,000 'teachers' tax' after Brexit

EU teachers wanting to work in this country could face costs of more than £4,000 over five years, the Lib Dems are warning

John Roberts

The Liberal Democrats have warned over the costs faced by EU teachers coming to the country after Brexit.

Brexit will make the teacher recruitment crisis worse by forcing EU teachers to pay thousands of pounds to work in schools, the Liberal Democrats are warning.

The party said that, after Brexit, teachers from European Union countries coming to the UK will pay up to £4,345 each over five years.

This figure is based on  EU citizens becoming subject to visa rules from 2021.

A teacher coming to the UK for more than three years will be charged £1,220 in visa fees, the Lib Dems have said.

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And they warned that the Conservatives also plan to increase the immigration health surcharge to £625 a year.

This means that a primary school teacher from the EU could pay £4,345 over five years to teach in our schools.

Lib Dem education spokesperson Layla Moran said: “Thousands of EU teachers each year come to the UK to keep our schools running.

"Now, Boris Johnson wants them to pay through the nose for the vital work they do.

“It is absurd that the Conservatives will give the cold shoulder to EU staff after Brexit when we are in the middle of a teacher recruitment crisis as pupil numbers rise.”

She was quoted in the Independent as saying: "It’s nothing more than a teachers’ tax."

The statement comes after a drop in the number of teachers from the EU qualifying to work in this country.

Figures from last year showed the number of European teachers given qualified teacher status in England has dropped by 35 per cent since the vote to leave the EU in 2016.

The Teaching Regulation Agency’s annual report and accounts revealed shows that 3,103 QTS awards were made to qualified teachers from the European Economic Area in the financial year 2018-19 – down 35 per cent from a peak of 4,795 in 2015-16.

And the figures show that the number of European teachers given QTS in 2018-19 was down 12 per cent from 2017-18, when 3,527 teachers were awarded QTS.

Figures published at the end of last year also show the DfE has missed its own recruitment targets.

The Liberal Democrats have warned that trained EU teachers could also face new hurdles to get their existing qualifications recognised in the UK after Brexit.

In a statement, the party said: “Should the UK crash out of the Brexit transition period in 2021, European teaching regulators would no longer tell the UK whether teachers had been sanctioned in the country they trained in.

“The government has offered to recognise teaching qualifications from the EU unilaterally. However, EU teachers would have to get their national regulator to write a letter confirming their professional standing. This would cause further delays to a process that can already take up to four months.”

A government spokesperson said: “We will deliver on the people’s priorities by introducing a points-based immigration system in 2021 to attract the brightest and best talent from around the world and will set out more details in due course.” 

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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