Foreign teachers will be offered £10,000 to work in English schools amid chronic staffing shortages, according to a report.
Ministers have begun an overseas recruitment drive following a rise in vacancies, The Times reports.
Under the new scheme, hundreds of maths, science and language teachers will be recruited from countries including India and Nigeria to plug staffing shortages.
Rules will also be changed to more easily recognise teaching qualifications from Ghana, India, Singapore, Jamaica, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The Department for Education (DfE) has already offered £10,000 “international relocation payments” to overseas physics and language teachers to cover visa and moving expenses.
Last year, the Government missed its secondary teacher recruitment target by 40 per cent.
Less than a fifth (17 per cent) of the required physics teachers and just a third (34 per cent) of the required foreign languages teachers were recruited.
A report by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), published in March, found that pupils’ grades could be affected by shortages because headteachers are increasingly having to resort to using non-specialist teachers “to plug gaps”.
Aashti Zaidi Hai, chief executive of the charity Global Schools Forum, told The Times: “The UK decision to actively recruit from several African countries could set back the education of children on a continent where 86 per cent are unable to read a simple text by the age of ten.”
It comes amid growing tension in the Cabinet over immigration, with figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Wednesday showing that net migration hit a record of 606,000 last year.
The Department for Education said: “In March we launched a one-year trial offering no more than 400 of the very best teachers from around the world the opportunity to teach in our schools.
“This is one of many options we are exploring to ensure there is an excellent teacher for every child.”
Meanwhile, teachers will hold fresh strikes in July if their long-running dispute over pay has not been resolved by mid-June.
The National Education Union (NEU) said Education Secretary Gillian Keegan could avoid further industrial action if she addresses pay and other issues, including recruitment.
The union is re-balloting its members to seek a new mandate to continue taking industrial action for six months.
Source – Evening Standard