ASCL comment on plan to recruit more overseas teachers

Julie McCulloch, Director of Policy at the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on the government press release about plans to open up opportunities for teachers from across the world to teach in England.
“We welcome the move to open up opportunities to teachers from across the world to teach in England, but this is a sign of the very severe teacher shortages being experienced by schools and colleges. The government repeatedly misses its own initial teacher training targets and far too many teachers are then leaving the profession early in their careers. This situation often means that schools are left struggling to fill vacancies and this particularly affects those which face the greatest challenges.
“The problem is that schools and colleges are underfunded by the government, subjected to an excessively harsh accountability regime, and that the government has presided over a lengthy period of pay austerity which has seen the real value of salaries eroded over many years. Teaching is a fantastic job but it is not surprising that we are struggling to recruit and retain staff when they are worn-down and underpaid. The government is attempting to remedy the situation with various initiatives but it is all a bit lacklustre and piecemeal.
“The scale of the problem requires a more strategic approach backed up with more investment.”