UK Teacher Exodus To Middle, Far East

UK Teacher Exodus To Middle, Far East
By C Hoppe
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Britain is warning that a teacher 'brain-drain' is underway as newly qualified UK teachers 'flock' to overseas positions.

Lured by what the Guardian calls, "tax free salaries, free accommodation and a warmer climate,' thousands of newly qualified teachers are leaving the UK.

The situation means the UK is now having to source its own teachers from abroad primarily from; Jamaica, South Africa, Canada and Australia.

The UK has long been predicting a teacher crisis, due to significant numbers of experienced teachers leaving the profession, and increasing student numbers.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, who is the chief inspector of England’s schools said recently, “famous institutions like Harrow, Marlborough, Shrewsbury and Brighton College – to name just a few – are clamouring to meet a growing demand for a ‘traditional’ English education among the burgeoning middle classes of these countries as well as the increasing number of British ex-pats who have relocated there.”

In 2014/15 it was estimated that around 100,000 UK teachers were working overseas and this figure is set to grow.

By 2025 it is estimated that the number of global International schools will double from 8,000 to around 15,000.

Wilshaw is now urging the government to implement urgent financial incentives to retain teachers in the UK, saying, “as far as I’m concerned, that means Barnsley not Bangkok, Doncaster not Doha, and King’s Lynn not Kuala Lumpur.”

He continued: “is it fair that the offspring of overseas oligarchs are directly benefiting from UK teacher training programmes at the expense of poor children in large parts of this country?”

He went on to say, “is it unreasonable to ask someone who has been trained in our system to make a contractual commitment to teach in that same system for the first few years of their career?"

“I would, therefore, once again urge policymakers to consider the idea of some form of ‘golden handcuffs’ to keep teachers working in the state system that trained them for a period of time," he said.

Teaching leaders agree and have added their thoughts on how to incentivise staying in the UK, adding that 'writing off university fees,' for a set period if the teacher remains in the UK state schooling system would help retain new teachers in the country.

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