A Complaint may be referred to the GTC by a wide variety of concerned persons, including employers or members of the public. Where a teacher is convicted of a criminal offence, the GTC will be notified directly by the police. Where an individual applies for registration or re-registration the GTC will obtain confirmation of any criminal convictions by checking the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme membership of that individual. This may also contain information relating to incidents that have not resulted in a conviction which the police consider to be relevant.
Where a complaint is received by the GTC, they will undertake a process of investigation to gather any information relevant to pass to an Investigating Panel. This would typically include corresponding with law enforcement agencies e.g. the police and the court system. Information would also usually be sought from employers, colleagues, witnesses or any other relevant parties.
The investigation is carried out independently of any other process which may be ongoing and focuses on the individual’s Fitness to Teach.
The teacher or applicant would then be given an opportunity to respond to the information which has been gathered. A response to the allegations contained in the complaint should then be drafted by the individual concerned. It is strongly suggested that professional advice and assistance be secured at this stage either from a solicitor, a trade union representative or a professional association.
The response should address the allegations set out in the complaint and provide the teacher or applicant’s version of events. If any subsequent corrective action has been taken by the teacher or applicant it should be detailed at this stage.