The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Appeals

Where GTC Scotland has made a decision about registration, standards or fitness to teach matters, the written decision notice will set out what right you have to appeal the decision if you are unhappy with it. In certain cases, the right of appeal is to the Court of Session while in others, it is to GTC Scotland's Appeals Board.

Where the decision notice sets out that you have a right of appeal to the Appeals Board, the guidance set out below will be relevant. Where the decision notice sets out that your right of appeal is to the Court of Session and you wish to pursue an appeal, we would strongly recommend that you seek legal or appropriate professional advice - the guidance below does not apply to Court of Session appeals.

An appeal may only be made where there are grounds to do so. The written decision notice that you have been provided will set out what the grounds of appeal are.

In order to make an appeal, you must complete a Notice of Appeal. The decision notice will have indicated which Notice of Appeal you should complete from those available below. If you are appealing a Fitness to Teach Panel decision that related to a referral about your conduct or your professional competence as a fully registered teacher, there is a specific Notice of Appeal for you to complete. If you are appealing a National Assessment Panel decision, there is also a specific Notice of Appeal for you to complete. For any other appeal, the general Notice of Appeal is what should be used.

Appeals should be made using the appropriate Notice of Appeals Form:

The decision notice will tell you how much time you have to submit a Notice of Appeal. This will usually be 28 days from the date on which you received the written decision notice.

When a Notice of Appeal is received in time, an Appeals Board Convener will check it to ensure that it has been properly completed. If he/she is not satisfied that the Notice of Appeal has been properly completed, you may be asked to revise the Notice and send it back within seven days.

An Appeals Board Convener has the right to dismiss an appeal application at this early stage where he/she is of the opinion that:

  • the appeal is frivolous or vexatious
  • you have materially failed to comply with the relevant Rules
  • the appeal has been abandoned

If the appeal is not dismissed, GTC Scotland will be allowed to submit answers in response to it within 28 days. After that, a date is then fixed for an Appeals Board hearing to consider the appeal. You will be given no fewer than 21 days notice of that hearing.

At the hearing, it is for you to satisfy the Appeals Board that the appeal should be granted.

The Appeals Board will firstly consider at the hearing whether there are grounds of appeal. If it thinks that there are grounds, it will then consider whether, in view of those grounds, the decision was one that no reasonable panel could properly have reached.

The Appeals Board hearing is therefore not a re-hearing of your original case. If the Appeals Board decides to grant your appeal, all it can do is refer your case back to the relevant first instance panel with, as it sees fit, a direction as to how that panel should proceed.

Appeals FAQs

Can I appeal because I do not like the original decision or in plain terms, I think it was wrong?

Not necessarily. An appeal can only be made on specific grounds. These will be set out in the written decision notice that you will have received. You will also find them in the relevant Notice of Appeal and set of Rules.

Can I represent myself at the Appeals Board hearing and can I be accompanied/ represented?

Yes, either or both is permitted.

Who will be present at the Appeals Board hearing?

  • the Board itself which will include a minimum of three people (a majority being registered teachers, and at least one, a lay person)
  • the Appeals Board Servicing Officer - he/she is there to oversee the proper administration of proceedings
  • other GTC Scotland support staff - for example, someone to take notes of proceedings or usher people to and from the hearing room

Sometimes, there may also be a Legal Assessor present who will be there to advise on any questions of law arising in proceedings, as well as to help the Appeals Board structure reasons for the end decision. A Presenting Officer may also have been nominated, or other parties may have been invited by the Appeals Board to attend, in order to provide information on how the original decision was made.

When might my appeal be heard?

We try to arrange Appeals Board hearing dates as soon as we can. Once you have lodged a Notice of Appeal and once the 28 days for GTC Scotland to submit answers has expired, the Appeals Board Servicing Officer will be in touch with you.