New regulations will allow teachers from around the world to work in England.
The Government announced on Friday that from 2023 qualified teachers from any country will be able to work in schools in England if they have at least one year’s experience in the classroom.
Schools minister Robin Walker said he wanted England to be “the most attractive place in the world to be a teacher – that means world-class training, high standards and crucially, opportunity”.
“It’s our fantastic teachers that create the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, artists, linguists and doctors and the expertise we draw upon shouldn’t be limited by geographical location,” he added.
“That’s why our plans to make it simpler for high quality teachers from all over the world to teach in our classrooms are so important, and why I am excited to welcome the best international teachers to our schools, ultimately to make sure each and every young person has the education and opportunities they deserve.”
The Government repeatedly misses its own initial teacher training targets and far too many teachers are then leaving the profession early in their careers
Julie McCulloch, ASCL
Under current rules, applications are only allowed from those who qualified in 39 countries, including the United States, Australia, much of Europe and Canada.
New standards, which include the need to have completed teacher training of at least the same academic standard as that in England and a requirement to demonstrate proficient English, will allow teachers from any country to apply for roles in English schools.
Headteachers said the move was a sign of the “very severe teacher shortages being experienced by schools and colleges”.
Julie McCulloch, policy director at the Association of School and College Leaders, said the union welcomed the move, but added: “The Government repeatedly misses its own initial teacher training targets and far too many teachers are then leaving the profession early in their careers.”
She said that this left schools struggling to fill vacancies and that 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,” she said.
She added that teaching was a “fantastic job but it is not surprising that we are struggling to recruit and retain staff when they are worn-down and underpaid”.