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Report highlights current shortage of science and Chinese teachers

01/02/2017 Joanna

A government-commissioned report has recommended that three more secondary teaching subjects be added to the official list of jobs that are currently experiencing shortages.

The independent Migration Advisory Committee aimed to determine whether teachers in general should be included on the UK shortage occupation list, a status that would make it easier for schools to hire additional staff from outside the European Economic Area in order to plug the gap.

Although no occupation-wide shortage of teaching staff was reported, it was found that numbers of computer science, Mandarin Chinese and general science teachers are currently low enough to warrant adding these three disciplines to the list.

These three subjects would join maths and physics teachers on the official shortage list. Although a paucity of modern foreign language teaching staff was also noted, the committee determined that it was "not sensible" to try and fill these gaps with teachers from outside Europe.

On the flipside, the analysis also recommended that chemistry teachers be removed from the list, as the supply of these staff has improved in recent months and is no longer deemed to be an acute concern.

Professor Alan Manning, chair of the Migration Advisory Committee, said: "We considered whether there were identified shortages of teachers and, if so, whether it would be sensible to recruit migrants from outside Europe to fill these roles.

"The resulting report shows there is no occupation-wide shortage of teachers, but that there are shortages in some subjects."

The Home Office said it has accepted the committee's recommendations wholly and will be making the necessary changes to immigration rules to reflect this stance.

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