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Supply Teaching By Working Holidaymakers

Volume 620: debated on Thursday 21 December 2000

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asked Her Majesty's Government:What plans they have to amend the policy in respect of working holidaymakers employed as supply teachers. [HL270]

The purpose of the working holidaymaker scheme is not to meet skills shortages, or enable teachers to secure employment in the United Kingdom, but as a concession to the normal arrangements working holidaymakers who are qualified teachers are allowed to undertake supply teaching during their stay. In keeping with the ethos of the scheme, any teaching work should be incidental to a holiday and they should not be working for the whole of their time here. For those non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who wish to engage in full-time teaching employment in the United Kingdom there are already provisions under the work permit scheme, and provisions in the Immigration Rules enabling approved exchange schemes for teachers and language assistants.We have nonetheless considered representations about the particular staffing difficulties and disruption faced by schools when supply teachers in their employ leave during the course of a school term because their leave to enter or remain as working holidaymakers has expired. In the interests of schools and their pupils, and in the light of the unique considerations which apply to the completion of school terms, we have agreed to amend the policy instructions in respect of working holidaymakers. This change will enable a short extension of leave to remain in the United Kingdom to a working holidaymaker who is already employed as a supply teacher, and whom the school wishes to retain, to enable them to complete the school term during which their leave to remain as a working holidaymaker has expired. Such leave will be granted on an exceptional basis outside the Immigration Rules in order to benefit those whose leave will expire during the course of a term but will not permit extensions to cover a whole term or more. Schools wishing to employ working holidaymakers as supply teachers will be expected to take account of the date upon which such a teacher's leave to enter or remain is due to expire when planning the coverage of vacant posts over the school year.