We handle cases where teachers are being investigated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the Education Workforce Council (EWC)
The Regulatory Process (England)
Teachers in England are regulated directly by the Secretary of State for Education. This function of the Secretary of State is carried out through an executive agency known as the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL). Previously the regulation of teachers had been the responsibility of the General Teaching Council for England (GTCE), until its abolition on the 1st April 2012 under the Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012. Initially, the Teaching Agency (TA) was the executive agency with responsibility for regulation, but it was then merged with the National College for School Leadership, to form a single agency known as the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL)
The disciplinary process that will be followed by the NCTL is as follows:-
- Investigation - an initial assessment is carried out to determine if the allegations are serious enough to warrant a prohibition order. If they are, then the NCTL will assess whether an interim prohibition order is required to prevent the subject of the investigation from continuing to teach until the case has been concluded. A formal investigation is then carried out and the teacher concerned is given 28 days to submit evidence in their defence. Should the NCTL determine that there is a case to answer once they have concluded their investigation, then the matter will be set down for a hearing before the Professional Conduct Panel.
- Hearing - the panel is usually made up of 3 members (both professional and lay members). Witnesses can be called.
- Decision - should the panel decide that the case against the teacher has been proved on the balance of probabilities, then they will then decide whether or not to recommend a prohibition order to the Secretary of State. A prohibition order bars the teacher from teaching. If the panel do make a recommendation that a prohibition order be imposed and the Secretary of State agrees, then the teacher is added to a prohibition list.
- Appeals - teachers can appeal against a prohibition order to the High Court, but the appeal must be brought within 28 days of the prohibition order being served.
- Review - prohibition orders can be for an indefinite period or may be reviewable after a certain period. Where reviewable, then the subject of the order may apply for the prohibition order to be reviewed after the minimum period specified in the order (not less than 2 years) has passed.
The Regulatory Process (Wales)
The Education Workforce Council (EWC) took over responsibility for the regulation of teachers in Wales under the Education (Wales) Act 2014 from the 1st April 2015. It took over responsibility from the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW).
The disciplinary process that will be followed by the EWC is as follows:-
- Investigation - where the EWC determines that there is sufficient evidence to lauch a full formal investigation, then it will refer the matter to its investigating committee. Should the investigating commitee determine that there is a case to answer, then it will refer the matter to the Fitness to Practice Commitee to either hold a formal hearing or deal with the matter by way of voluntary reprimand or voluntary prohibition
- Hearing - as well as making representations in their defence at the hearing, the teacher can call witnesses and submit evidence.
- Decision and sanctions - once the Fitness to Practice Commitee has heard the case, should it determine that the case against the teacher has been proved on the balance of probabilities, then the Committee will make a decision on what sanction to impose. The sanctions available to the Commitee are a reprimand, a conditional registration order, a suspension order, or a prohibition order. The minimum terms for a prohibition order is 2 years, and at the end of the term of the prohibition order, the subject of the order will have to re-apply for registration should they wish to re-enter the profession.
- Appeals - teachers can appeal against a prohibition order or other sanction to the High Court, but the appeal must be brought within 28 days of the disciplinary order being served.
Internal Disciplinary Proceedings
We also assist and represent teachers where they are the subject of internal disciplinary proceedings by their employer
What To Do If Regulatory Proceedings Are Commenced Against You
Should internal disciplinary proceedings or NCTL or EWC regulatory proceedings be commenced against you, then please either telephone us on 0333 301 0700, or complete the questionnaire on the top right hand side of this page.