MSP calls for change after drop in teaching applications

Stewart Stevenson MSP
Stewart Stevenson MSP

Banffshire and Buchan Cost MSP Stewart Stevenson has called for changes to immigration measures to attract and retain talent in the teaching sector.

It comes after figures were revealed which show only 14 EU teachers applied for registration to teach in Scottish schools in the first half of the year – when the bulk of applications normally occur.

In comparison, there had been a steady increase with 128 applications in 2015, 159 in 2016 and 186 in 2017.

The drop was attributed by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) Chief Executive Ken Muir to Brexit and the Tory government’s damaging approach to immigration.

Now, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has warned exiting the European Union will impact the North-East and chances of attracting and retaining talent in the teaching sector.

Mr Stevenson 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.

“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.”