We are informed through a PVG Scheme check of any criminal convictions against an applicant for registration and are informed by the police and courts of convictions against currently registered teachers.
In order to assess whether there is a question as to whether any individual is unfit to teach we consider each such case on an individual basis and in doing so take a number of factors into account. We will obtain information relating to the circumstances of any criminal conviction in order to do this and will also ask the applicant or teacher concerned for their own account of the circumstances which led to the conviction as well.
Criminal Convictions FAQs
1. If someone who is currently a teacher is convicted of a criminal offence will they be removed from the register?
Each case is considered on its own merits and the individual circumstances are taken into account. It is not necessarily the case that a conviction against a teacher will lead to removal from the register.
2. What types on conviction would lead to removal from the register?
- Any conviction against a registered teacher is a serious matter as teachers are in a unique position of trust and responsiblity. Offences which would be considered to be most concerning would include:
- Sexual offences
- Crimes of violence
- Crimes of dishonesty including fraud or embezzlement
- Offences relating to possession or supply of illegal drugs
- Any offences against children or which raised concern with regard to child protection
In general teams, unless there are particular aggravating factors, it is unlikely that someone would be removed from the register on the basis of a one-off minor road traffic offence, such as speeding for example.
3. What factors are taken into account when deciding what happens to a teacher or applicant who has been convicted of a criminal offence?
- Ultimately we consider whether a person is suitable to be a teacher, we are not punishing a person for any perceived wrongdoing. A number of things will be taken into account when considering whether a person is suitable to become or remain a teacher. This may include:
- the length of time which has passed since the offence without any further convictions
- the seriousness of the offence and whether it may be relevant to a person's position as a teacher
- whether it would be proportionate to remove a person from the profession or prevent them joining the profession on the basis of the offence committed
- were any children directly involved either as victims or in terms of being put at risk?
- the explanation provided by the teacher or applicant
4. Is there an obligation for a registered teacher to inform us when they are convicted of a crime?
- There is no obligation on the individual to refer the matter to us. We are notified directly of convictions against teachers by the Police and we investigate matters from there.
5. I'm thinking of applying to do a programme in teacher education but I have a conviction from a couple of years ago. Would this prevent me from getting on to the programme or getting registered?
- These two issues would be considered separately. The question of whether a person is accepted on to a programme is one for the provider to answer.
If a person successfully completes their programme and applies for registration we would consider separately whether they are allowed to register, taking into account the factors referred to above. We are only able to consider whether a person will be allowed to join the register when they actually apply for registration. We cannot answer whether someone would be allowed to register until the case is formally decided.
6. Do I have to declare convitions on my application even if they happened a long time ago and are now considered to be 'spent'?
- Yes. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that some convictions are considered to be 'spent' after a certain period of time. However, teaching is listed in this Act as an exemption which means that you are required to detail all convictions when applying for jobs or for registration as a teacher. This includes things such as road traffic offences and any convictions which are now 'spent'.