23 SES 12 A, Policy Reforms and Teacher Professionalism
Teacher supply and retention is a longstanding issue in several European countries (European Commission 2012, 2013) including the UK (Brown 2015). In England, National Audit Office (NAO) data shows that rates of vacancies and temporarily filled teaching posts have increased from 0.5% of the teaching workforce to 1.2% between 2011 and 2014 (NAO, 2016). Employing teachers from overseas is one solution for filling teacher vacancies. However, following the UK's decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU) it is uncertain whether schools in England will be able to continue recruiting teachers from EU countries. The implications for European teachers already working in England also remain unclear.
Teaching in a foreign country presents numerous challenges. Matthias (NCTL, 2014) found that some teachers from outside of the UK were relatively unfamiliar with the UK education system and faced issues such as questions over the equivalency of their qualifications. The availability of information and support is likely to be especially important to prospective teachers not currently resident in the UK. Halicioglu (2015) found that where teachers seek employment in a different country, they can have difficulty in identifying a school they would like to work in, adapting to the culture of the host country, and developing a familiarity with the school curriculum, the school philosophy and the academic and pastoral expectations placed on them.
One major challenge in recruiting international teachers is being able to find teachers who are likely to remain in the country and in the teaching profession, so schools do not experience a rapid turnover of staff. International teachers also need to be committed to the education system they are entering, and are likely to require some form of mentoring support to help them adapt to the education system they are entering (AMF Report, 2009). However, there is little existing evidence on schools’ approaches and motivations, and the perceived benefits and barriers to recruiting international teachers. The research discussed in the proposed paper addresses this gap in the evidence base.
In November 2016, Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Brighton were commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to study the recruitment of international teachers in England. The main aim of the research was to gather evidence that would inform and improve support and guidance provided for schools and teachers looking to fill vacancies in shortage subjects.
The study sought to answer the following research questions:
- What are schools' motivations for recruiting teachers from abroad?
- How are international teachers recruited?
- How do schools support international teachers and how effective are these approaches?
- What motivates international teachers to apply to teach in England and what are their experiences of recruitment?
- What do international recruits (both those who do take up employment in England and those who do not) perceive to be the enablers and barriers to working in England?
- For those who take up posts what is their experience of working in schools and any support received?
Brown, J. (2015) 'The flow of higher qualified new teachers into challenging UK high schools' Research Papers in Education, Vol. 30(3) pp. 287-304 DfE (2016a) Schools workforce in England 2010 to 2015: trends and geographical comparisons. Available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/550970/SFR44_2016_text.pdf accessed on 27th October, 2016 DfE (2016b) Educational Excellence Everywhere. Available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/508447/Educational_Excellence_Everywhere.pdf accessed on 27th October, 2016 European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2012) Key Data on Education in Europe 2012. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2013) Key Data on Teachers and School Leaders in Europe. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union Halicioglu, M.L. (2015) 'Challenges facing teachers new to working in schools overseas' Journal of Research in International Education Vol. 14(3), pp.242–257 Migration Advisory Committee (2016) Call for Evidence: Partial review of the Shortage Occupation List. Available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/527653/Teachers_Call_for_evidence.pdf accessed on 27th October, 2016 National Audit Office (2016) available online at: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Training-new-teachers-Summary.pdf accessed on 27th October, 2016 Matthias, C. (2014) Qualitative Research with Shortage Subject Teaching Candidates: The Journey to Teacher Training. NCTL National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) (2015) NAHT Recruitment Survey. Available online at: www.naht.org.uk/welcome/news-and-media/key-topics/governance/naht-recruitment-survey-shows-growing-problems-in-schools/ accessed on 27th October, 2016 National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) (2015) Should I stay or should I go? NFER analysis of Teachers Joining and Leaving the Profession. Available online at: https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/LFSA01/LFSA01.pdf accessed on 27th October, 2016 NCTL (2015) National College for Teaching and Leadership: Annual report and accounts: Available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/446611/nctl-annual-report-and-accounts-2014-to-2015.pdf accessed on 27th October, 2016
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