Independent Schools Registration FAQs
As a result of a Scottish Government proposal which is part of its Education (Scotland) Bill and is currently making its way through the Scottish Parliament, we have decided to create a short FAQ section to answer some of your questions.
1. Why will all teachers working in independent schools have to register with GTCS?
This is a Scottish Government proposal which is part of its Education (Scotland) Bill which is currently making its way through the Scottish Parliament. View more information at:
Education (Scotland) Bill launched - 24 March 2015
The majority of teachers working in independent schools are already registered with GTCS and we have strong partnership links with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools which has supported this process.
There remain are around 730 staff who are not registered, although some of those will be eligible for registration and have just not taken steps as yet to formalise this (see Question 3 for how to register with GTCS).
This proposal by Scottish Government will ensure that all teachers in Scotland, regardless of the sector in which they teach, will meet the GTCS Standards for Registration and our rigorous background checks. This should give comfort to other teachers, the general public and most importantly, parents and learners.
For more detail about the Scottish Government proposal visit:
Education (Scotland) Bill
2. What is GTCS doing to support teachers working in independent schools who are not registered
There will be many teachers working in independent schools who already meet our standard requirements for registration. Additionally, our registration rules were updated on 1 January 2016 and these now include increased flexibility for registration of teachers whose qualifications do not fully meet our standard requirements. Therefore, we recommend that teachers in the independent sector who are not currently registered look at the information in the Qualified Outside Scotland section of our website to see whether they may already be eligible for registration.
Teachers who have obtained QTS elsewhere in the UK via an employment based route (e.g. the GTP) are now able to apply for provisional (conditional) registration. They will be able to go on to obtain full registration after completion of a Top Up PGCE programme and confirmation of satisfactory and relevant teaching service meeting our probationary service requirement. At present the Top Up PGCE is offered by the University of Northampton, however, we are discussing the possibility of setting up a top-up programme at a Scottish university. Information about the University of Northampton programme can be found on their website.
University of Northampton - PGCE Top-up (Primary/ Early Years/ Secondary)
We have also recently accredited an initial teacher education programme at the University of Buckingham, which will enable teachers in independent schools who do not currently have a teaching qualification to meet the teacher education requirement for registration. Information about this programme, the Independent PGCE, can be found on the university’s website.
University of Buckingham Independent PGCE
We understand that there may be some teachers in the independent sector who still may not be able to meet our registration requirements. To help these teachers, we have set up a working group which is looking into a number of ways of supporting teachers in the independent sector to become registered with GTCS.
3. I work in an independent school and I am not registered. What do I need to do?
Keep an eye on this website for further information as the Education (Scotland) Bill travels through the Scottish Parliament (see Question 1). We will update these pages when we have more information.
In the meantime we would recommend that you visit our Registration pages to find out more about what is required to register with GTCS:
Following recent updates to our registration rules, we would expect that most teachers working in the independent sector should now be eligible for some form of registration.
4. I want to come and teach in Scotland; what can I do to ensure I have the necessary qualifications?
You may already have qualifications which can lead to registration. We would recommend that you first look at the information that we provide in our Registration section for teachers Qualified Outside Scotland. This information also applies to teachers in the independent sector in Scotland who have not completed their teacher education at a Scottish university.
If you do not have qualifications which meet our requirements for registration please contact us for further advice at QOSProfreg@gtcs.org.uk
GTCS recently validated a one-year top-up course at the University of Northampton designed to enable teachers in England who have gained qualified teacher status via an employment based route to become registered in Scotland. In addition to this we are discussing the possibility of establishing a top-up course at a Scottish university. We have also accredited the Independent PGCE at the University of Buckingham which will enable teachers in independent schools who do not currently have a teaching qualification to meet the teacher education requirement for registration whilst continuing to teach in their current school.
5. How long will independent schools have to ensure all of their staff are registered?
This depends on the final legislation going through the Scottish Parliament but we anticipate independent schools will have two years following this legislation going through to ensure staff are registered.