The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Criminal convictions

Criminal convictions are notified to us directly by the police or courts where they relate to currently registered teachers, or by Disclosure Scotland as part of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme when someone applies for registration or information is added to a PVG Scheme Record as part of ongoing monitoring. Teachers also sometimes tell us about a criminal conviction themselves.

This means we are notified of a wide range of criminal convictions, ranging from one-off road traffic offences to very serious offences related to child protection matters.

Whilst we recognise that any criminal conviction is a serious matter, it would be disproportionate and unnecessary for us to treat all notified criminal convictions as fitness to teach referrals. We therefore automatically screen certain criminal convictions out of our fitness to teach process in line with the guidance set out below.

Assessment Stage 1

Does the criminal conviction fall into any of the categories listed below?

  • It is a conviction for an offence which resulted in the imposition of a custodial sentence.
  • It is a conviction for an offence which resulted in the imposition of a direct alternative to custody namely a Community Payback Order (please note that these orders were previously known as: Community Service Orders (CSO), Probation Orders or Restriction of Liberty Orders (ROLO)).
  • The conviction, regardless of sentence, relates to:
    • Dishonesty
    • Misuse of drugs
    • Violence against a person
    • Firearms, knives, offensive weapon or the offence was aggravated by the use of a weapon
  • The offence is sexual in nature.
  • The offence is aggravated by being related to hate crime (prejudice based on sexuality, race, religion or disability).
  • Details are given that a child and/or vulnerable adult was a victim or was harmed by the offence.
  • Details are given which indicates that the offence took place in the course of carrying out teaching duties or is closely linked to this. If the conviction does not fall into any of these categories, it can potentially be screened out and we move on to Assessment Stage 2.

Assessment Stage 2

Does the criminal conviction fall into one of the categories listed below?

  • Conviction is over 5 years old and was disposed of by way:
    • A fine of less than £500
    • Admonition
    • Absolute Discharge
    • Conditional Discharge
    • Caution
  • Up to 3 convictions for road traffic offences of which none are punishable by way of a custodial sentence. The road traffic offences that are punishable by way of a custodial sentence are set out in the table below.

If the conviction falls into one of these categories, we automatically screen it out.

Road Traffic Offences punishable by way of a custodial sentence

 Legislation

 Section

 General nature of offence

     
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 1  Causing death by dangerous driving
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 1A  Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 2  Dangerous driving
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 2B  Causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 3ZB  Causing death by driving: unlicensed or uninsured drivers
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 3ZC  Causing death by driving: disqualified drivers
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 3ZD  Causing serious injury by driving: disqualified drivers
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 3A  Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 4(1)  Driving or attempting to drive when unfit to drive through drink or drugs
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 4(2)  Being in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle when unfit to drive through drink or drugs
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 5(1)  Driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in breath, blood or urine
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 7  Failing to provide specimen for analysis or laboratory test
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 7A  Failing to allow specimen to be subjected to laboratory test
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 22A  Causing danger to road users
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 66C  Resisting or wilfully obstructing a stopping Officer
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 94 A  Driving after refusal of licence under Section 92(3), revocation under Section 93 or service of a notice under Section 99C
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 103(1)(b)  Driving whilst disqualified
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Regulations under Road Traffic Act Section 160 made by virtue of Paragraphs 2(4) and 4 of Schedule 2A  Making a false or misleading declaration to secure release of vehicle from immobilisation device and securing possession of vehicle in person’s custody
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 170  Failing to stop after accident and give particulars or report accident
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 174  Making certain false statements etc. and withholding certain material information
 Road Traffic Act 1988  Section 178  Taking a vehicle without authority, or, knowing that it has been so taken, driving it or allowing oneself to be carried in it without authority
 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988  Section 115  Mishandling or faking parking documents