The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

Independent Schools and Education Through Care

As a result of the Scottish Government's Education (Scotland) Act, which was passed in February 2016, it will become mandatory for teachers in the Independent School and Education Through Care sectors to be registered with GTCS. This Act will be enacted in October 2017, with teachers given a minimum of three years to address any shortfalls. A number of new registration categories are in development, with more details of these below.

GTCS has undertaken a number of actions to support the effective implementation of mandatory registration within the Independent School sector.

  • Established an Independent Schools Working Group comprising of representatives from independent schools, the Scottish Government, SCIS, GTCS and Education Scotland to advise and contribute to aspects of implementation.
  • Sought permission from the GTCS Council to create a number of new registration categories including Provisional Conditional (including Named School Only), Independent Schools Head Teacher, Broad General Education, Steiner School only, Montesorri only.
  • Undertook a number of pilots within the sector to better understand the nature of the challenges.
  • Held a number of information seminars for managers and HR as appropriate; March 2016, September 2017, February 2017.
  • Visited a numbers of schools on an individual basis to provide information and support, directly to staff.
  • Undertook a pilot for Registration Equivalency Tests.
  • Accredited both the University of Buckingham Independent PGCE and University of Northampton Top Up PGCE programmes to support the acquisition of a recognised teaching qualification. Details of these programmes can be accessed directly from the universities’ websites.
  • Worked in partnership with SCIS and the University of the Highlands and Islands to design a bespoke, distance learning PGDE based in Scotland to be accredited on 6 October 2017.
  • Registered staff from the Independent and Education Through Care sectors, eligible for registration in the currently available registration categories, on an ongoing basis.

Route maps to registration

1. Why will all teachers working in independent schools have to register with GTCS?
2. When will the registration of Independent School Teachers become compulsory, and what time to teachers have to gain full registration?
3. Who is covered by this legislation? What is the definition of a teacher?
4. What will be the associated costs of registration?
5. What can I do now to prepare for registration?
6. Which categories of registration will be available to Independent School Teachers?
7. What are the qualifications required to achieve full registration with GTCS?
8. I have QTS based on an employment based route, what options are available to me?
9. I qualified outside Scotland; what can I do to ensure I have the necessary qualifications?