The Investigating Panel
Investigating Panels are made up of members of the Council who will sit as a panel of at least 3 members. The Investigating Panel will always include at least 1 non-teacher member. The teacher/applicant will be given at least 28 days’ notice of the meeting where their Fitness to Teach will be considered. The meeting will be conducted in private and the teacher or applicant in question will not be entitled to attend. Nor will any employer, complainant or witnesses be entitled to attend. The decision is based purely on the written evidence before the Investigating Panel.
At this meeting the Investigating Panel will decide whether or not to refer the case to a Fitness to Teach Panel for a hearing on the matter. It will refer a case to a Fitness to Teach Panel where it considers that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the individual’s fitness to teach is potentially questionable. In coming to this conclusion the Investigating Panel will take into account the circumstances of the complaint, including the length of period since the alleged events occurred and whether there are any similar complaints made against the individual concerned. Each case is considered on its own circumstances.
At this point if the Investigating Panel do not make a referral to a Fitness to Teach Panel then the investigation process will be considered to be at an end at that stage. The Investigating Panel may however defer its decision until a later date to permit further information to be secured.