Monday, February 8, 2010

Ask Ed Balls Questions About the UK Education System

Sarah Ebner recently sent me an email to ask that I mention this exciting event to you all.  I'm more than happy to do so!

Ed Balls, the UK Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, will be over at Sarah's blog tomorrow at 1pm (GMT).  Don't fret if you can't make the live event as you can ask questions now in the comments section of Sarah's post.  Then, check in later to see if Mr. Balls replied to your query.

There are already a tonne of questions on there, and it's worth a look to see what others feel passionately about in terms of education issues in the UK.  There's no doubt about it - it's going to be a very heated discussion indeed.

As a Canadian, I wasn't quite sure what I could write to Mr. Balls that would be relevant to the readers of School Gate.  So after pondering this very question, I've decided to ask Ed Balls this question:
As a Canadian teacher who taught in London for three years, and now as the owner of a teacher recruitment company, I've seen a lot of foreign teachers being recruited to the UK over the past 5 years in particular.  Now that secondary schools are able to hire non-teaching staff as "cover supervisors", many of these foreign Secondary School Teachers are having to find work in primary and SEN schools instead.   Many of them find full-time employment in their subject areas (particularly in maths and science) but it's the teachers who prefer day-to-day teaching that are struggling. 

I know that schools were short on staff so this was one way to help them fill their staff needs, but it seems that qualified, experienced and more-than-capable teachers are getting the short end of the stick with this new policy.  I am sure that British-trained secondary school teachers are just as affected by this change.  Do you have any plans to change this policy in the future, or would you recommend that foreign secondary school teachers who prefer day-to-day stay home instead?

And on that note, how do you feel about the increase in foreign trained teachers in UK schools? 
For more background on the issue of Cover Supervisors, please read this post & the comments left by our teachers & teaching assistants.

What will you ask Ed Balls? 

More Resources About Teaching in London, England:

Classroom Canada Website
Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians
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Canadians & Americans in the UK blog

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