International teachers working in England’s schools say better pay is needed for them to remain, says a new report.

The research on the recruitment of overseas teachers found that one in three said they had unsatisfactory pay or negative classroom experiences.

The findings have been published by the Department for Education and highlight that 38% of teachers recruited from overseas and who had taught in schools had left because of negative experiences of their schools.

Also, 35% said their pay and conditions were unsatisfactory.

When questioned about what could be done for them to remain in teaching, 84% of non-Europeans said better pay was necessary, while for Europeans it was 69%.

International teachers also revealed that workload was an issue

The international teachers also revealed that workload was an issue, for 3%, and 2% highlighted problems with pupil behaviour.

Researchers also found that those school leaders who had recruited teachers from overseas in the last three years said the move was a ‘last resort’ or was a strategy to overcome a shortage of teachers locally rather than being a preferable option.

However, schools say they found it harder to assess the quality of their international recruits which left many on short-term contracts and many of them took a long time to acclimatise to working and living in England.

The benefits to the schools included not just filling empty vacancies but bringing different experiences including more creative ways to teach.

‘Schools that recruited international teachers recently did not plan to’

The report states: “Two thirds of schools that recruited international teachers recently did not plan to recruit from overseas in future but would consider it again if they could not find teachers nationally as a last resort.”

The issue of Brexit also left EU teachers unsettled with some pulling out or leaving their appointments and the long-term implications of the UK leaving the EU was ‘creating uncertainty’.

The researchers found that those teachers from overseas that moved to England did so for career progression or a desire to live in the country.

They added that school leaders did consider international recruitment but appreciated that it takes significant support to help their recruits acclimatise to working and living in the country.

While some recruits needed a mentor, others needed help in developing their social networks and finding affordable accommodation.

More information

The Department for Education’s report, ‘International teacher recruitment: understanding the attitudes and experiences of school leaders and teachers’, can be found on their website.