The Effect of No Deal Brexit on the Education Sector

26 February 2019

On 31 January 2019 the government produced updated guidance regarding the effect of a 'no deal' Brexit on schools in England, both from an employment perspective and regarding pupil places. While a lot remains 'to be confirmed' at this stage, some details have been provided. Here, we produce a roundup of the key points.

Pupils: School Places

The UK's withdrawal from the EU will not affect the ability of children living in the UK to apply for a school place in England; school places are not determined by reference to a child's nationality or immigration status. Those families from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, living in England by 29 March 2019, will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to remain in the UK beyond December 2020. This will not be detrimental to the child applying for a place in a school in England. Similarly, UK families returning from the EU to the UK after a 'no deal' exit will be entitled to apply for school places in England.

Irish citizens will not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Staff: New Arrivals and Leave to Remain

Those citizens from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland who come to the UK post-a no deal exit to live, study or work here for longer than 3 months will receive a 'temporary leave to remain'. If, during this period they successfully receive leave to remain, they will be able to stay in the UK for a further period of up to 36 months. This will not apply to Irish citizens, who shall remain free to live in the UK as they do currently.

Staff: Mutually Recognised Qualifications and Sharing of Teacher Sanctions

Qualified individuals who come to work in England as a teacher from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland can currently apply to have their status and qualifications recognised and receive Qualified Teacher Status ("QTS"). For those individuals who have already had their qualifications recognised, or who have already applied for recognition before 29 March 2019, this right shall continue. Similarly, leaving the EU under a 'no deal' scenario will not affect the qualifications and professional status of those individuals who have already successfully received recognised QTS in England.

However, the current system will no longer apply post-Brexit, and at the present time the government advises that a new system shall be put in place to allow individuals from the EU, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland to have their qualifications and status recognised and receive QTS, with further details to follow shortly.

In addition, under the present regime, EEA professional regulating authorities must share details of any sanctions or restrictions placed on teachers in their jurisdiction. Under a 'no deal' Brexit, this requirement will no longer apply, and the Teaching Regulation Agency will not maintain details of teachers who have received sanctions in EEA states.  At this time the government advises that it will shortly be updating KCSiE to reflect how to check an EEA regulator's assessment of a teacher's professional competence in the future.

Pupils: Meals and Trips

The guidance also mentions briefly that the government continues to work with food suppliers to prepare for a 'no deal' scenario, reiterating schools' and LAs' duty to provide meals to all registered pupils who request one, and to prove those meals free of charge to eligible pupils.

All: Travel

It is not envisaged that staff or pupils will need to take any action with regard to travelling to the EU in the event of a 'no deal', save for the usual requirements to have a valid passport with at least 6 months' validity remaining.

At the moment it is all very uncertain and we will keep you updated on any key changes over the coming months.

To view a full copy of the guidance, please click here.

For further information or advice, please contact Vicky Wilson, Stephen Oxley or your usual Wilsons contact.

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