UK Visa Department ‘unsure’ on foreign teacher departure numbers

31 May 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

 The Home Office has revealed that it is unsure about how many foreign teachers will have to leave at the end of five years due to new Tier 2 work permit rules.

The news follows the introduction of new legislation on 6 April 2016, which stipulates that foreign workers from non-European countries must earn £35,000 or more each year in order to be eligible for indefinite leave to remain in Britain.

In many cases, foreign workers who have been in Britain for five years will apply for a ‘settlement visa’, and many are likely to have applied under the new rules. However, the Home Office is currently unable to specify how many foreign teachers will be affected by the changes to Tier 2 work permit legislation due to the cost of retrieving such information being “too expensive”.

According to, education chiefs have previously warned about the impact the changes could have on the UK education system, particularly as schools are already struggling to find staff.

In fact, data suggested that 60 per cent of secondary school teachers, as well as 75 per cent of primary school and nursery staff, earn less than £40,000 per year, with almost all teaching assistants also believed to earn significantly less than the new Tier 2 work permit salary threshold.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “One of our leaders said that several schools in their consortium couldn’t staff science or modern foreign languages without these teachers. When the average teacher’s salary in England after 10 years is about £30,000, this cap is effectively sending the majority of non-EEA teachers home at a time when they’re needed more than ever.”