What impact will Brexit have on the education system and the recruitment of teachers?
A significant proportion of teachers are worried about the impact Brexit could have on the education system and their own jobs, a new survey has revealed.
The poll, by the UK’s biggest teachers’ union NASUWT, found that half of teachers feared that Brexit would distract the government from dealing with crucial issues at home, including education. 41% were worried that Brexit would have a negative effect on the education system (compared to just 12% who thought it would have a positive impact) and 43% said they were worried about its potential impact on job security within the teaching profession. 60% worried that Brexit could have a negative impact on investment in schools.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said: “The survey suggests that the recruitment and retention crisis which is engulfing schools will not be addressed if Brexit results in reduced levels of investment in education.”
Staffing could certainly be an issue going forward. According to The New European, a third of language teachers and around 85% of foreign language assistants are EU nationals. Modern languages could clearly be affected, but there are also plenty of EU nationals teaching maths, science and other subjects at every level, too.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about the shape the UK’s immigration policy will eventually take. Any points or skills based system that restricts EU teachers from coming into the country, or how long they can stay, could have a major impact. It’s feared that many may choose to return to their home countries anyway and that the current trickle away from the UK could become a flood.
The effect that Brexit could have on the wider economy and, therefore, the ability of future governments to fund the education sector is hotly debated, but the fact that it will have an impact hardly seems in doubt.