UK names Zimbabwe among four countries targeted for teacher recruitment

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The UK has opened opportunities for teachers from South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria with equivalent qualifications to their British counterparts and at least one year of teaching experience to apply for jobs there.

The offer was also extended to teachers from Ukraine, Singapore, Jamaica, India, and Hong Kong under the Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) programme as of February next year.

To be a teacher in the majority of primary and secondary schools in England, one must have a QTS.

It is proof one has the necessary education and adheres to the criteria necessary to be a teacher.

The four African countries are the first to be considered for QTS. Before that, it was only for teachers from the European Economic Area, Gibraltar, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland, the US, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

“Teachers from all eligible countries will have to show they meet a consistent set of criteria for the award of QTS. Over time, this route will be opened to qualified teachers from every country outside the UK,” the UK government said in a statement.

The teachers can be recruited directly from their countries of origin provided their employer sponsors a critical skills visa for them.

The visa will be used along with the general or immigration visa.

The UK government said in due course this type of visa would be opened to teachers from all over the world.

According to a University College London report, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, there were around 8% more teacher openings in 2020 (138 512) than there were in 2019 (128 235).

During the initial Covid-19 lockdown, which occurred in April 2020, the number of openings reached its lowest point at about 6 700.

The need for teachers stabilised by late April after the initial shock.

The demand for teaching professionals had risen above pre-pandemic levels by mid-summer and the beginning of autumn.

As part of retaining teaching staff, the UK intends to have a base salary of about £30,000 (US$37,500) per annum for the lowest-paid teachers.