Jamaica Overseas Teachers Association UK© – Jamaican Overseas Teachers Update

The Overseas Trained Teachers meeting was held on Thursday June 14th 2007 with the aim to come up with a plan to extend the time for overseas trained teachers to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in the UK. This was hosted by Facilitators for a Better Jamaica (FFBJ) and supported by Black Londoners Forum (BLF).

Presentations were made by, Eroll Walters, Director of Black Londoner’s Forum, David Chen of Voicing for Jamaica and BEN TV, and Chaired by Sylbourne Sydial, Founder & Director of Facilitators For a Better Jamaica (FFBJ) and Keith Best, Chief Executive of the Immigration Advisory Service who has offered to assist the Jamaican teachers strategically from an immigration perspective

The outcome of the meeting was the formation of a group now called “The Jamaica Overseas Teachers Association UK (JOTAUK)”. The Association then moved a resolution to petition the British Government and the Education Board to extend the period for overseas trained teachers to complete the training needed to gain the Qualified Teachers Status required to continue teaching in the country. We as a body are also asking the Education Authority to make programmes available and transparent to assist these teachers. Under 3.10 of the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol adopted by Ministers of Education on September 1st 2004 “The recruiting countries should provide dedicated programmes to enable such teachers to achieve fully qualified status in accordance with any domestic requirements of the recruiting country”. For a country that promotes being inclusive, this policy is deemed to marginalise a group, mainly Overseas Trained Teachers from ethnic minority groups.

The following Actions Points were agreed:

  1. Create a Petition Online.
  2. Create a Petition on paper and collect signatures at the Diaspora Conference on 16th June 2007.
  3. Join and Lobby with the NUT on 26th June 2007.
  4. Invite Education International in the process.
  5. Contact NASWUT to see if they will Join with NUT
  6. A standard letter with what we are trying to achieve to be drafted.
  7. All teachers to write an agreed letter to their MPs – MEP – NUT and the Diaspora UK Organisation.
  8. Strategically to do press releases – BEN TV, National newspapers
  9. Date of next meeting 19th June 2007 at 7am at Brixton Base.

Action completed to date:

  1. Online Petition completed and waiting for approval.
  1. Signature petition created and is at present being distributed
  2. Provision Structure established for the JOTAUK
  3. Radio interview with Mrs N. Miles Provisional Head of JOTAUK and Sylbourne Sydial of FFBJ on the Deon Jackson-Miller , RJR Beyond the Headlines Show