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Regulating the profession


last updated:25 Feb 2011

The Secretary of State for Education announced on 2 June 2010 that legislation will be introduced to abolish the General Teaching Council for England. The proposed abolition does not affect the GTC's responsiblity towards regulating the profession and conducting disciplinary hearings at present.

For more information regarding the abolition of the GTC please see the Future of the GTC section.

The GTC sets out and maintains standards for the behaviour and professional competence of teachers, in the interests of the public. In doing so it regulates the teaching profession.

Teachers' employers (including supply agencies) must tell the GTC when they dismiss a registered teacher because of misconduct or incompetence, or when a teacher resigns because they know they are going to be dismissed.

The GTC also takes referrals relating to misconduct from the Department for Education (DfE) and members of the public. DfE criminal referrals can include criminal convictions, and they can also ban or restrict a teacher if children's safety and welfare is at risk, or it would negatively affect public confidence in teaching.

The GTC has a thorough process in place to hear cases. Each hearing panel has two teachers and one person who is not in the teaching profession. At least two of the panel are members of the Council. One person may be from a committee of 15 teachers and 10 other people who have been recruited to help hear cases. Each panel has an independent legal adviser and the hearing is held in public.

These protective measures mean you can be assured that the GTC is applying rules in partnership with people representing the interests of children, parents, the wider community and the profession. The GTC is also examining serious cases thoroughly and openly.

What disciplinary actions can be taken?
Each panel can take actions which include:

  • reprimand (or warning)
  • conditional registration, where a teacher must meet conditions set by the panel to be able to register with the GTC and so continue teaching
  • suspending a teacher, with conditions if appropriate, for up to two years; and
  • banning a teacher from teaching.

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