Types of Hearing
This type of hearing relates to complaints or allegations that an applicant or registered teacher falls below the standard of conduct or competence expected by the GTC.
Where a person admits the allegations against him, he may be removed from the Register of Teachers by way of the Removal with Consent procedure.
Removal with Consent (RWC)
Where an Investigating Panel finds that there is a case to answer, a person may accept the allegations in full against him and express his wish to be removed from the Register. Where the full implications of this have been explained to him, and it is confirmed that he has been given an opportunity to seek independent legal and professional advice, then the RWC procedure may be followed.
The process is as follows:
A letter will be issued to the Respondent enclosing a RWC order;
The RWC order will set out the full allegations against the Respondent and require that he admits to the allegations;
A Procedural Hearing will then be scheduled to consider the RWC order;
Where a Fitness to Practice Panel agrees at the Procedural Hearing that an order should be made to remove the Respondent from the Register, the terms of the Order will be made public and be announced at the Hearing. If the Panel does not agree to the order, the Full Hearing process will be followed;
The effect of the Removal is the same as if it had been reached after a Full Hearing;
The Respondent has the same right of Appeal as would apply to a Removal after a Full Hearing;
The Respondent may not apply for re-registration for a period of two years from the date of Removal;
The Respondent has the right at any time until Removal to challenge the allegations or state that he/she no longer consents to being removed from the Register. In this event, the Full Hearing procedure would be resumed.
A procedural hearing may be held in any complaints matter where an interim or preliminary matter requires to be dealt with. The Procedural Hearing may be held to consider a matter of law or consider a Removal with Consent Order.
Ordinarily Procedural Hearings are held in public.
Where an allegation is refuted and a Full Hearing is held, evidence will be presented to the Fitness to Teach panel by all parties and a determination will be made by the Panel.
Where the Panel finds that any allegations are proved, it will then continue to consider the person’s fitness to teach. It may be found that the person’s fitness to teach is impaired, or that the person is unfit to teach as a result of their conduct falling below the standard of professional conduct and competence required.
Where the Panel makes a finding of being unfit to teach it must direct the person’s name to be struck from the Register or to refuse their application for readmission.
Where the Panel makes a less serious finding of impairment, it has the following options open to it:
Make no order;
Issue a reprimand;
Issue a conditional registration order;
Issue a conditional registration order and a reprimand at the same time;
Refuse registration; or
Remove the person from the Register
Hearings are held in public, unless the Fitness to Practice Panel has granted an application for the hearing to be held in private.
Temporary Restriction Hearing
Prior to any case being finally determined, a Temporary Restriction Hearing may be held in order to impose interim restrictions on a person against whom an allegation has been made. The Fitness to Practice Panel can impose such temporary restrictions where it is satisfied that there exist “circumstances which on the face of it might cause it to remove the individual from the Register”. Any temporary restriction imposed does not amount to a removal of the person from the Register, but it restricts the person to being employed in his existing post by his existing employer.
Temporary restriction hearings are commonly heard early in the investigation process and are usually held in private.
Subsequent Registration Application Hearing
Where a person has been removed from the Register or refused application for registration a hearing may be held to determine their current fitness to teach.
Hearings will be held in public unless the Fitness to Teach Panel has granted an application for it to be held in private.
Probationary Service Hearings
A Probationary Service Hearing would be held in circumstances where a probationer’s employer recommends that a probationary teacher’s provisional registration should be cancelled due to their falling below the required standard of competence. The employer may also recommend that the probationer’s period of probationary service be extended in order for the probationer to meet the relevant standard of competence.
Where the probationer challenges his employer’s recommendation, a Probationary Service Hearing will be held. The Panel will consider all relevant evidence and make a determination.
The options open to the Panel are as follows:
Grant full registration to the person, provided that the required hours of probationary service have been completed;
Remove the probationer from the Register;
Continue the probationer’s provisional registration and extend the period of probationary service required.