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Advice for schools: How to handle Brexit

by Julia Nielsen


With the UK's exit from the EU looming on the horizon, what do schools need to know about current staff members and hiring new starters?

The team at SCR Tracker has pulled together the important parts of the latest news from the Department for Education, to help you keep your single central record compliant.

Current staff members

Firstly, you must start by addressing your current staff members who could be affected. If they are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. This scheme will allow them to maintain their residency in the UK after 2020.

The temporary leave to remain scheme applies if the individual arrives in the UK after the UK leaves the EU and before 1 January 2021. The deadline for applications is 31 December 2020.

Remember that it is the responsibility of the individual to apply to these schemes, not you as the employer. There is no requirement for the staff member to inform you, as their employer, that they have applied, or what the status of their application is.

You are not required to check that an employee has applied. Next, you'll need to address new staff members arriving in the UK after Brexit.

New staff members

Right to work checks

Current ‘right to work’ checks apply until the end of 2020. EU citizens may also prove their right to work using the DfE's online service, if they choose to.

There will be no official change to the rights or status of EU citizens living in the UK until 30th of June 2021. In the event of a no deal, however, the deadline would be the 31st of December 2020.

As the employer, you will not be required to carry out retrospective checks on existing EU employees after the UK transitions to the future skills-based immigration system.

Irish citizens’ right to live in the UK will not change when the UK leaves the EU. Irish citizens do not need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, but their family members, who are not Irish or British citizens, do need to.

Physics teacher
Photo by Tra Nguyen / Unsplash

European professional qualifications checks

Teachers with EU, EEA or Swiss teaching qualifications that have qualified teacher status (QTS) will continue to hold QTS.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, teachers that have applied for QTS before the exit date will be able to continue their application under the previous system.

With a deal in place, a new system will apply teachers who haven't begun the process to still apply for QTS.

EEA teacher sanctions and restrictions checks

With a no-deal Brexit, EEA professional regulating authorities will no longer be required to automatically share details of any sanction or restriction imposed on teachers with the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

The TRA will therefore no longer automatically receive, or maintain, details of teachers who have been sanctioned, post exit, in EEA member states.

Schools must continue to carry out the same safer recruitment checks for applicants who have lived or worked outside the UK as they currently do for all other staff.

Furthermore, schools must continue to make any further checks they think appropriate in order to consider any relevant events that occurred outside the UK. Schools will be able to apply in the same ways as they currently do when employing an applicant from the rest of the world.

If the UK leaves with a deal, the existing system for checking EEA sanctions will remain in place until at least 31 December 2020.

Finally, you'll have to check the levels of security around the personal data you're keeping.

Statistics on a laptop
Photo by Carlos Muza / Unsplash

Data protection

Identify where you receive data from, determine who the data controllers and processors are, and where the data is stored.

Contact education management providers that you share personal data with within the EEA.

You may still share personal data lawfully with them once the UK leaves the EU.

With regards to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it will be incorporated into UK law if there’s a no-deal Brexit. This and the Data Protection Act 2018 will therefore continue to apply to data transferred within or from the UK.

If you have a contract with SCR Tracker, know that your data is safely secured on servers in London so there is no need to worry about data transfer laws with us as your software providers. All of our data is encrypted to the highest of levels, so you can rest easy knowing your data is with us.

The above information was sourced from the latest guidance from https://www.gov.uk and is up to date as of the 4th of October 2019.

Have any questions? Contact the team here.


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posted 27 days ago
Julia Nielsen
Julia Nielsen
Passionate about driving positive change and impact in schools. Head of Business Development, SCR Tracker (https://scrtracker.com). Online software for schools to safeguard employment.