About GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland, as the independent professional body which promotes and regulates the teaching profession in Scotland, aspires to:

  • Be a world leader in professional education issues
  • Maintain and enhance standards of teaching and of teacher professionalism
  • Maintain the confidence of the public by always working in the public interest

Established in 1965, GTC Scotland was the first such professional, regulatory body for teaching and teachers in the United Kingdom and one of the first teaching councils in the world.

On 2 April 2012 the legislation that established and governed GTC Scotland was replaced by The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011 (the Order). GTC Scotland has always been financially independent, being funded by teachers and not from the public purse. GTC Scotland has 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, with enhanced powers and greater flexibility of operation. As a result GTC Scotland became the world's first independent professional, regulatory body for teaching.

Under the Order:

  • GTC Scotland's general functions are to:
    • keep a register of teachers
    • establish and review the standards of education and training appropriate to school teachers
    • establish and review the standards of conduct and professional competence expected of a registered teacher
    • investigate the fitness to teach of individuals who are, or are seeking to be, registered
    • keep itself informed of the education and training of individuals undertaking courses for the education and training of teachers
    • consider and make recommendations to Scottish Ministers about matters relating to teachers' education, training, career development and fitness to teach as well as the supply of teachers
    • keep such registers of other individuals working in educational settings as it thinks fit
    • maintain a scheme of Professional Update for teachers
  • in carrying out its functions, GTC Scotland:
    • must have regard to the interests of the public
    • must do so in a way which:
      • is proportionate, accountable, transparent and consistent
      • is targeted only where action is needed
      • encourages equal opportunities
      • is consistent with any other principle which appears to it to represent best regulatory practice

We ensure that children and young people in Scotland are taught by qualified registered teachers and aim to promote equality and diversity in all our activities. We are a registered charity (charity number SC006187).

Our Strategic Aims

  • Contribute to the development of a world class education system in Scotland.
  • Maintain and enhance professional standards in schools and colleges in collaboration with partners.
  • Be recognised as an advocate for the teaching profession.