Gove’s Cutting Costs With Overseas Trained Teachers

With UK Education Secretary Gove’s approval rating among teachers on a par with that of Col. Gaddafi among Libyan rebels, it is eyebrow-raising to say the least that he aims to push through reforms that would see teachers from Oz, NZ and other select countries being allowed to teach in the UK without undergoing retraining as they are now.

We did think that by doing supply teaching the current regulations on overseas teachers could be circumvented anyway but regardless of this, the proposed change will at the very least make it even harder for NQTs to find a teaching position and will surely have a knock-on effect on future NQT numbers.

It appears that Gove is modelling this latest innovation on current practice in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) where doctors and nurses have long been recruited from overseas.

In fact, so popular is the UK as a destination for medical staff from overseas that it has led to dangerous shortages in countries where opportunities and wages are lower.

Like with the NHS, however, it has also meant that UK-trained medical staff have capitalised on their training and moved abroad with Australia, Canada and North America especially attractive – have you ever wondered at the number of medical staff in US hospital dramas with British accents?

So instead of attracting trained teachers, the upshot of the Gove-rnor’s reform could actually see an exodus of experienced UK-trained staff moving overseas. And who would blame them with wage and budget cuts.

There are also no guarantees that staff from places like Australia and New Zealand will bother to come to the UK given the strength of their respective economies and currenices.

The UK could be then left with recruitment problems. No overseas-trained staff wanting to come. No UK-trained staff wanting to stay.

In this case, you’d think NQTs would be asked to fill the gap but if they get wind of Gove’s meddling and read the news regarding cuts in training places then they may opt for other careers (and just when the need for primary school teachers has never been greater).

There’ll then be no NQTs to fill the gap. With no NQTs, it seems we are left only with TeachFirst’s undertrained, underexperienced and underqualified newbies to fill the void.

But TeachFirst-ers cost less. And as his management consultant buddies will have reminded him, when you wish your banking chums to keep all their soft-earned cash making cuts to public services is all that matters.

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