How schools can prepare for Brexit

When the UK leaves the EU on the 31st of October, it is important that schools are as prepared as possible; here is the key information schools need to know

The EU Settlement Scheme

  • Inform any staff, parents or carers of pupils who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens that they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 2020.
  • The deadline to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021 but, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.
  • To apply click here

Staff from the EU arriving after Brexit

  • There will be no change to the right to work of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members living in the UK until 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  • You’ll need to check a job applicant’s right to work in the same way as now until 1 January 2021.
  • They’ll be able to prove their right to work using either:
  • their passport or national identity card if they’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen;
  • their biometric residence card if they’re a non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member;
  • their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or EU Temporary Leave Scheme using the Home Office’s online right to work checking service.
  • You have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. You cannot require them to show you their status under the EU Settlement Scheme or European temporary leave to remain until 1 January 2021.

School places after Brexit

  • Schools and local authorities cannot take into account nationality or immigration status when deciding which pupils to admit. There will be no change to this after Brexit.
  • Once the future immigration system is introduced in 2021, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will not be able to enter the UK for the sole purpose of attending a state-funded school. This will not prevent children who are entering the UK for another purpose, for example, as a dependant of a worker or a student, from being eligible for a school place.
  • The right of Irish nationals to access education will continue to be protected under the Common Travel Area arrangements.
  • UK nationals with children who return from the EU after the UK leaves the EU will continue to be entitled to apply for a school place.

European teaching qualifications

  • Teachers with EU, EEA or Swiss teaching qualifications that have qualified teacher status (QTS) will continue to hold QTS.
  • In the event of no deal, teachers who have applied for QTS before the exit date will be able to continue with their application under the previous system as far as possible. If there is no deal, a new system will apply after Brexit which will still enable teachers with EU, EEA or Swiss qualifications to apply for QTS.
  • Government will publish further details on the qualified teacher status (QTS) webpage.

Checking for EEA teacher sanctions or restrictions

  • If there’s 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). This means the TRA will no longer automatically receive or maintain details of those teachers who have been sanctioned, post-exit, in EEA member states.
  • In this case 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. In addition, schools must continue to make any further checks they think appropriate so they can consider any relevant events that occurred outside the UK. Schools will be able to apply the same processes as they do when employing an individual 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.
  • When the UK leaves the EU government will update the keeping children safe in education statutory safeguarding guidance to reflect these changes.
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Data protection

These steps will help you plan how you can continue to share and receive personal data lawfully.

  • Continue to carry out your own risk reviews.
  • Get legal advice if you are not sure.
  • Sharing data with the EEA:
  • Contact anyone you share personal data with within the EEA.
  • You should explain that you can still share personal data lawfully with them once the UK leaves the EU.
  • Receiving data from the EEA:
  • Identify where you receive data from in relation to the EEA and determine:
  • who the data controllers and processors are
  • where the data is stored

Food supplies

Local authorities and schools must continue to provide meals to all registered pupils who request one. Where the pupil meets the criteria for free school meals, the meal must be provided, free of charge.

Schools have significant flexibilities within the school food standards, which they can refer to if certain items are in short supply.

Contact your food supplier(s), or your local authority or academy trust if they arrange food on your behalf, to make sure they are planning for the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit,

  • that their secondary suppliers are prepared;
  • have plans to adapt menus to allow for product substitution if necessary;
  • can continue to meet nutritional standards;
  • can continue to meet special dietary needs and manage allergies.

Medical Supplies

  • Continue with your normal arrangements for medical supplies to support pupils with health conditions.
  • If you have concerns about meeting your statutory duties for SEND, health and safety, or safeguarding, work with your local authority or academy trust to make contingency plans.
  • Read the Guidance on planning for a possible no-deal Brexit: information for the health and care sector for more information.

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