River Wissey Lovell Fuller

We Must Be Mad

July 2016

In its efforts to introduce some control over immigration the government has been clamping down on immigration from non-EU countries. Visas are more difficult to obtain and are usually for very limited period, over-stayers are likely to be deported very quickly. The latest move against non-EU skilled worker immigrants came into force in April, this requires them to earn at least £35,000 a year in order to be permitted to stay. The term skilled workers includes professionals such as teachers and, presumably, nurses?

I understand that there are a number of teachers in the UK from the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, many of these are earning less than £35000 and, one assumes will be required to leave. We are desperately short of teachers and recruitment is currently very difficult but, unless there is some special provision for these teachers we will lose them. So it appears that, whilst we are compelled to welcome Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, Latvians et al, as well as EU citizens originating in Middle-Eastern and African countries, many of whom do not speak English and have a somewhat alien culture, we are deporting English speaking teachers from countries with a very similar culture to our own.

Whilst on the topic of education I was pleased to read recently that there are proposals for a new national funding formula for schools. It seems that at present the amount of funding per pupil in rural schools is generally less than that for city schools. One headmaster of a large comprehensive school in rural West Sussex claimed that if he was funded at the same rate as the highest funded London schools he could double the number of staff in his school. It was bonkers, he said, and added that if he was funded at the same rate as a school in nearby Brighton he could employ an additional 30 staff.

I hope that the new national funding will improve the situation for schools in our region and help to ensure the raising of standards. Ron Watts Must Be Mad

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