We are 52 days away from Brexit. The UK will leave the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019 by automatic operation of law unless something else happens. So far, the government has not been able to obtain parliamentary approval for its Withdrawal Agreement and it has started to ramp up preparations for "no deal".

It has recently published advice to schools and colleges to help you prepare for "no deal".


Any child living in the UK can apply for and access a school place in England irrespective of their migration status and you must not deny a child a place on the basis of their nationality or migration status.

However, children from the EU, EFTA and Swiss nationals will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 31 December 2020 to remain beyond this date. 

Irish nationals will be able to access education in England as part of the Common Travel Area arrangements.

Applications for a school/college place can be made from overseas by those with a right of residence in the UK, but admission authorities and local authorities may require an applicant to provide proof of residence in the UK. You should consider admission requests from UK nationals returning from the EU on the same basis as people living in the UK. This is because UK nationals who return from the EU after EU exit will be legally entitled to access benefits in the same way as they are now.

Recognition of teaching qualifications

Currently EU, EEA EFTA and Swiss qualified teachers have the right to have their professional status and qualifications considered for the award of Qualified Teacher Status in England. EU EEA EFTA and Swiss professionals whose qualifications have been recognised before 29 March 2019, or who have applied for a recognition decision before that date, will retain this right in a no deal exit.

However, the current system of reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications between the EU, EEA EFTA and Switzerland and the UK will not apply after 29 March 2019. Instead, professions with EU EEA EFTA or Swiss qualifications, including teachers, will have to obtain recognition of their professional qualifications through a new system - the details of which are not yet known.

Checking for EEA regulating authority teacher sanctions or restrictions

The current requirement which requires EEA professional regulating authorities to share details of any sanction or restriction imposed on teachers will no longer apply. This means the Teaching Regulation Agency will no longer maintain details of those teachers who have been sanctioned in EEA member states. 

Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory safeguarding guidance will be updated shortly to advise you about how an EEA regulator’s assessment of a teacher’s professional competence can be checked in future.

Travel to the EU

If there is no EU Exit deal, you will need to take new action before travelling to an EU destination. There are a number of issues you will need to be aware of when planning travel to the EU for staff or students, including passports, health cover and transport.


The government has recommended that Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps projects  continue being delivered, and applications are submitted to the UK National Agency for the 2019 Call for Proposals as normal. It has recently issued further guidance in the form of a technical notice.

Need more information?

Please contact our expert Jenny Arrowsmith to find out how our IM Educate employment law and HR support service can help you.