Wednesday, 25 July 2018 04:54


The number of teachers from the EU applying to teach in Scotland has plummeted over the past year, according to figures from the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) revealed by Holyrood magazine.

Only 14 EU teachers applied for registration to teach in Scottish schools in the first half of the year – when the bulk of applications for registration normally occur. In previous years there had been a substantial increase with 128 applications in 2015, 159 in 2016 and 186 in 2017.
GTCS Chief Executive Ken Muir attributed the drop to Brexit and the Tory government’s damaging approach to immigration. He noted the adverse impact this is having on the efforts of the Scottish Government to attract and retain talent in the teaching sector.
Commenting, Gordon MacDonald MSP, who sits on Holyrood’s Education Committee and has called for changes to immigration measures to attract more teachers to Scotland, said:
“The consequences of Brexit and damaging Tory policies around immigration are now hitting close to home – in our local schools and communities.
“Despite the best efforts of the Scottish Government to attract and retain the talent we need in our teaching sector, this work is being completely undermined by Westminster.
“The existing cap on the number of qualified teaching professionals allowed to enter the UK has already left some schools denied a teacher they had recruited, but these new figures are absolutely devastating.
“They prove the Tories put their own Brexit obsessions ahead of what’s good for our kids’ education – that is completely intolerable. They’re actively driving talent away.
“The Tories should drop their anti-migrant obsession and drop it now – and give Scotland full control over immigration so we can design a better system, suited to our needs, with the right skills in our schools to give our children the best education we can provide.”
Notes to editors:
Comments from GTCS Chief Executive Ken Muir –
“Having maintained numbers pretty high from the EU, they are falling off a cliff, and that’s absolutely down to Brexit,”
“Whereas in the health and care industries two years ago the numbers it more or less started to dwindle, the teacher numbers kept up.
“Particularly from three countries in the EU, Greece, Poland and Spain, we get a good number of applicants, followed by the Republic of Ireland it has to be said - those four are our big hitters, and those numbers have dwindled to next to nothing.”
“It’s always been the case that immigration rules, tier two status and all the rest of it have had a role to play in that, but I think that, together with Brexit, means folk are asking ‘is it really worthwhile to come and teach in Scotland?’”
“It compounds the problem we’ve got bringing teachers into the education system in Scotland.”

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