BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Education
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Hot Topics 
UK Systems 
League Tables 
Features 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 23:01 GMT 00:01 UK
UK 'looting' teachers from poor
African school
Classes in developing countries are often large
UK schools which recruit teachers from overseas in a desperate bid to fill vacancies are "sucking vital resources" from the world's poorest children, a charity has claimed.

The Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) believes at least 1,000 teachers have come to the UK from developing countries in the last 12 months.


The morality of looting teachers from developing countries is being lost in the fervour to fill our own classrooms

Mark Goldring, VSO
But children in developing countries were often in classes of 100 with just one teachers, VSO said.

"Our own teacher shortage pales in comparison with those in countries such as India, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa, where UK teacher recruitment agencies are able to recruit aggressively, unchecked and unbound by guidelines or regulations," the charity said.

In February the South African Government criticised the UK for poaching its best teachers.

Education Minister Kadar Asmal said British recruiters were "raiding" the country's resources at a crucial time in the nation's development.

Code of practice

VSO is now calling on the Department for Education to issue a code of practice for schools and recruitment agencies.

Kader Asmal
Kader Asmal: Says South Africa and the UK should work together
"The morality of looting teachers from developing countries is being lost in the fervour to fill our own classrooms," said VSO chief executive Mark Goldring.

"Try telling one of the 40 million Indian children who have no access to education that British children are more deserving of an Indian teacher's skills."

"It is madness to be investing in India's education system via the Department of International Development and yet sanctioning - by default - the extraction of the very teachers needed to build it," said Mr Goldring.

Sharing best practice

The Department for Education said: "We do not support taking teachers from a region where that would damage its long-term development".


Our primary focus remains on delivering policies that attract and retain teachers from this country

Department for Education
"We have recently worked with the South African Government to ensure both countries benefit from an international sharing of best practice," said a department spokeswoman.

The government was developing a quality mark scheme for agencies and local authorities supplying schools with temporary teachers.

This would not be awarded to organisations who engaged in unethical recruitment practices at home or overseas, she stressed.

"Our primary focus remains on delivering policies that attract and retain teachers from this country," the spokeswoman said.

Overseas teachers who came to UK schools made an important contribution to those schools and were well qualified, she added.

See also:

16 Feb 01 | Africa
UK 'behind SA brain drain'
30 Aug 01 | Education
Heads hiring 'poor quality' teachers
30 Aug 01 | Education
Teacher crisis 'long-term problem'
28 Aug 01 | Education
Teacher shortages worst for decades
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Education stories