The granting of independent status for the General Teaching Council for Scotland is an historic and important milestone for our teaching profession. The Council, already the oldest such body in the world, has now become the world's first independent, self-regulating professional body for teaching.

GTC Scotland has always been financially independent, being funded by teachers rather than from the public purse. We also had a wide range of professional responsibilities but some decisions were subject to final approval by the Scottish Government. On 2 April 2012 the Order conferred independent status on GTC Scotland, together with enhanced powers and greater flexibility of operation.

Independence has brought significant changes to our Council and some adjustments to the way we carry out our business. Independence has also opened opportunities to offer new services to teachers and other education professionals.

Many of the changes outlined have not impacted significantly on the day to day work of Scotland's teachers. What is without question is that we will continue to provide an efficient, fair and robust service to and on behalf of teachers, just as we have done since the GTC Scotland was established in 1965.

1. Why has GTC Scotland become independent?
2. What does the Order do?
3. What does the independent Council look like?
4. What do members do?
5. Are there any changes to the GTC Scotland's powers?
6. Are there features which are different from the past?
7. Is GTC Scotland making any other changes?
8. Who will pay for the changes?
9. Finally, what does independence mean?



Independence Timeline

September 2010 - January 2011
Scottish Government consultation period

1 October 2010 - 10 January 2011
GTC Scotland consultation period

9 March 2011
Draft Order laid in the Scottish Parliament for approval - Order approved

17 March 2011
Order passed into law

4 April 2011
First part of the Order (enabling powers) commences

2 April 2012
First fully independent Council formed and all functions in place