TEACHERS’ WATCHDOG HITS BACK IN DISCIPLINE ROW
Stirrer blogger Laurence Inman is unimpressed by what he’s seen of the General Teaching Council, the disciplinary body responsible for maintaining the profession’s disciplinary standards. Alan Meyrick, the GTC’s registrar hits back.
“The GTC helps to uphold the standards of the teaching profession, in the public interest, by hearing cases of serious misconduct and incompetence. All cases which are referred are investigated before it is decided whether there is sufficient evidence to require a hearing.
“The teacher is kept informed and given every opportunity to put their case throughout the entire process. We advise teachers to seek the assistance of their union or professional association for support. Not all teachers who come before a GTC hearing will necessarily be found guilty, of course.
"Prior to the GTC being set up in 2000, disciplinary hearings for teachers were heard in private by a government department. Cases are now heard by panels with a majority of teachers. As with other professional bodies, all decisions from GTC hearings are made public and the majority of the cases are heard in public too.
“Where a teacher feels that an aspect of a hearing held in public may compromise their case, they may ask for it to be held in private session. The basis of our decision making is in public guidance which can be found on our website.
“Committee members undergo a rigorous training process before they start to hear cases and their conduct of hearings is independently monitored to ensure that they all work to a consistent high standard of fairness and thoroughness. Hearing panels have a legal adviser, who is independent of the GTC, to assist and advise them throughout the process.
"Our hearings, which are held in public and in full accordance with human rights laws and conventions, have been highly praised. The GTC ensures that its hearings are fair, dignified, thorough and judicious in serving the interests of the public and the reputation of teaching profession.
“If a teacher feels the process has been unfair or unreasonable, they can appeal. Appeals are heard by the High Court, which marks the importance of the decisions panels take.”
To see Laurence Inman’s article, click here
Stirrer readers with any knowledge of the GTC can leave a message on the Message Board.
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