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UK teacher, resident in Spain, fights for right to apply for jobs

A British teacher, who has lived in Spain for 30 years. is aiming to take the Education authority of Mallorca to court for discrimination after they refused to accept her application to become an official, permanent state schoolteacher.

In a letter to the Majorca Daily Bulletin, Serena Farr, who has permanent resident status in the country, explained that this is the second time her application to apply for a permanent job in the state school system  has been turned down. “During 2021-2021, due to my exclusion from the list … I made a formal complaint to the European Commission who held a meeting with the educational authorities, warning them of the breach of rights invested in British citizens that come under the Withdrawal Agreement”.

The Commission also provided Ms Farr, who already teaches English in the state school system on a casual contract, with an official document which makes clear her legal rights to take part in any official selection process.

However, when she again applied this year to participate in two selection schemes she was turned down once more on the grounds that she “was not an EU citizen”. 

Stories of teachers turned down from state positions in EU countries long predate Brexit. In the early 90s a British teacher had his application for a state school position in France rejected on the grounds that “the interviewers couldn’t understand his accent.” He too successfully appealed to the EU Commission.

However, stories of national governments who ignore such EU rulings are also common. Most famously, the Lettori, EU citizens who teach their mother tongues in Italian Universities have been fighting for parity of terms and conditions since 1989.

In the last 44 years the EU courts have found in favour of the Lettori on four separate occasions. The Italian government has so yet to fully comply.

Image courtesy of Kork~commonswiki
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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