The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

General Teaching Council for Scotland Fitness to Teach Panel Outcome

Full Hearing

27 & 28 November 2017

 Teacher  Mohammed Souabny
Registration Number 942550
 Registration category  Secondary - French
 Panel  Kerr Wilson (Convener), John Anderson, Maureen Anderson
 Legal Assessor  Gareth Jones
 Servicing Officer  Dani Tovey
 Presenting Officer  Deborah Russell
 Respondent's representative  Not represented

Any reference in this decision to:

  • “GTCS” means the General Teaching Council for Scotland;
  • the “Panel” means the Fitness to Teach Panel considering the case; and
  • the “Rules” (and any related expression) means the GTCS Fitness to Teach Rules 2017 or refers to a provision (or provisions) within them.
  • the "Register" means the GTCS register of teachers

Preliminary issues

Absence of the Teacher

As the Teacher had not attended the hearing, the Presenting Officer made an application at the outset to proceed in his absence, pursuant to Rule 1.7.8(a) and (b) of the Rules.

The Presenting Officer submitted that all reasonable efforts had been made to serve the Teacher with notice of the hearing. In support of that submission, she drew the Panel’s attention to a letter, which had been sent by GTCS to the Teacher’s specified address on or around 3 July 2017. The purpose of the letter was to inform the Teacher of the Investigating Panel Outcome, namely that it had been determined that there was a case to answer against him in respect of the allegations. The letter, which had been sent by recorded delivery, had been returned to GTCS with the message, “addressee gone away”. Furthermore, the Teacher’s GTCS Membership Record, which formed part of the Presenting Officer’s hearing papers, had not been updated to include details of a different address to the one to which the correspondence was sent.

The Presenting Officer reminded the Panel that under Rule 12.3.2 of The General Teaching Council for Scotland Registration and Standards Rules, the Teacher was under a duty to notify GTCS of any change in contact address as soon as possible and at least within 3 months of that change. It was submitted that the Teacher had clearly failed to comply with that rule. It was also documented within the papers that an attempt had been made by the Servicing Officer on 18 September 2017 to contact the Teacher on his registered telephone number, however, the number was void. The Servicing Officer made a further attempt to contact the Teacher on the same number on the morning of the hearing, however, the number was still void.

The Presenting Officer also submitted that there would have been a risk in sending further confidential correspondence to the Teacher’s specified address given that he was no longer living there. That being the case, it was submitted that all reasonable efforts had been made to identify the Teacher’s address in order to serve him with notice of the hearing and that the Panel could move to the next stage of deciding whether or not to proceed in his absence.

The Panel had careful regard to the Presenting Officer’s submissions in relation to service of notice of the hearing but was of the view that some further enquiries could be made to try and establish contact with the Teacher. In reaching that decision, the Panel considered the various factors listed within Part B of the Postponements, Adjournments and Proceeding in the Absence Practice Statement. Specifically, the Panel considered that Witness 1, who was still working at School 1, should be asked whether she had any contact details for the Teacher, whether she knew of anyone else who may be able to provide such information and whether School 1 held any additional contact details for the Teacher beyond those recorded on the GTCS Membership Record. The Panel also considered that enquiries should be made with Glasgow City Council to see if it held any additional information about the Teacher that may assist.

At the request of the Panel, these additional enquiries were made. However, Witness 1 confirmed that neither she nor the school had any further information about the Teacher’s contact details. Also, a Senior HR Manager at Glasgow City Council had been contacted directly but was unable to provide any details. These enquiries having been made, the Panel was satisfied that all reasonable efforts had now been made by GTCS to identify the Teacher’s address in order to serve him with notice of the hearing. The Panel was equally satisfied that the Teacher had failed to comply with the GTCS Registration and Standards Rules by not updating his contact details.

The Panel next considered whether it should exercise its discretion and proceed in the absence of the Teacher. The Presenting Officer submitted that it would be appropriate to do so for a number of reasons. The allegations were serious and were now of some age. Two witnesses had attended to give evidence and would be inconvenienced if the hearing were postponed. An adjournment would be highly unlikely to secure the attendance of the Teacher given that his whereabouts were presently unknown and the efforts that had already been made to serve him with notice of the hearing. It was also submitted that given the serious nature of the allegations it was in the public interest that the matter should be dealt with.

The Panel accepted the advice of the Legal Assessor that care and caution should be exercised when deciding whether or not to proceed in the absence of a Teacher, especially where the Teacher was unrepresented. However, having regard to all of the factors outlined by the Presenting Officer, the Panel was satisfied that it was appropriate to proceed with the hearing. In reaching that decision, the Panel reminded itself of the factors set out in the Postponements, Adjournments and Proceeding in the Absence Practice Statement and that it was in a position to ask questions of the witnesses in order to test their credibility and reliability.

Privacy

A second preliminary issue was raised by the Presenting Officer at the outset of the hearing. She submitted that because some of the evidence relating to the Teacher touched upon matters to do with his health, those passages of evidence should be heard in private. The Panel was content to follow that course, pursuant to Rule 1.7.3(a) of the Rules and left it to the Presenting Officer to indicate when she would be moving on to evidence covering health issues.

Allegations

The following allegations were considered at the hearing:

    During the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school sessions whilst employed as a teacher by Glasgow City Council you did:
    1. Record that pupils had sat prelim exams on the SEEMIS recording system when in fact they had not;
    2. Record incorrect grades in respect of pupil’s prelim exams on the SEEMIS recording system;
  1. And in relation to 1(i), you acted dishonestly;
  2. On 5 November 2013, whilst employed as a teacher by Glasgow City Council at School 1, you did:
    1. Take a worksheet which had been developed by a colleague without permission
    2. Thereafter use the worksheet in an observed lesson and;
    3. Take credit for the quality of the worksheet when it was commented upon by the Faculty Teacher;
  3. Between 5 December 2013 and 10 January 2014, both dates inclusive, at School 1, you did:
    1. Misuse class contact time in that you did use work computers to access a variety of internet sites, including adult material websites which were unconnected with your work;
    2. Misuse time assigned to you to actively engage in the support plan provided to enable you to meet the points of concern raised by your employer in that you did use work computers to access and/or attempt to access a variety of internet sites, including adult material websites which were unconnected with your work;
  4. On 10 January 2014, between 12:50pm and 13:08pm, at School 1 you did use work computers to access internet sites which were unrelated to your work and included four attempts to access adult material when in fact you should have returned to your duties to conclude your LNCT11 Stage 2 Review meeting at 12:55pm. And in light of the above, it is alleged that your fitness to teach is impaired and you are unfit to teach, as a result of breaching Parts 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 4.1 and 4.4 of the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Code of Professionalism and Conduct.

Hearing papers

In accordance with Rule 1.7.17, the Panel admitted all of the documents and statements listed below as evidence for the purposes of the hearing:

Presenting Officer

FH1 Notice of Presenting Officer’s Case
FH2 Witness statement of Witness 1, Head Teacher, School 1
FH3 Witness statement of Witness 2, former Faculty Head, School 1
FH4 LNCT 11 Stage 3 report to Director of Education from Witness 1, Head Teacher, and appendices hereto dated 29 January 2014
FH5 Glasgow City Council, Acceptable Use of ICT Facilities dated August 2011
FH6 SEEMIS prelim exam entries for 2011/2012 academic year with Witness 2, Faculty Head, annotations marked thereon
FH7 Registrant’s SEEMIS prelim exam entries for 2012/2013 academic year with Witness 2, Faculty Head, annotations marked thereon
FH8 Registrant’s class timetable for January 2014
FH9 Registrant’s internet search history from 5 December 2013 to 10 January 2014
FH10 Investigating Panel Outcome letter to Mr Souabny dated 03/07/2017
FH11 Investigating Panel Outcome letter returned by Royal Mail envelope marked “addressee gone away” dated 24/07/2017
FH12 Telephone Note dated 18 September 2017
FH13 GTCS Membership record

Summary of evidence

Witness 1

Witness 1 read aloud the content of her signed witness statement. She was then asked a number of supplementary questions by the Presenting Officer before being questioned by the Panel. The salient parts of the evidence given by Witness 1 can be summarised as follows.

Witness 1 was appointed as the Head Teacher at School 1 in January 2011. In August of that year the Teacher took up a permanent position at the school as a teacher of French. He came to the school with some experience and was allocated to the Modern Languages Faculty on a 0.5 basis from the local authority. That meant that he was due to teach part-time (2.5 days per week), however, he was based entirely at the school and was used for class cover across the school for the remaining 2.5 days per week.

In January 2012, Witness 1 received a report from Witness 2, the Modern Languages Faculty Head, that discrepancies had been discovered in the way in which the Teacher had recorded pupils’ examination results on the SEEMIS recording system. Pupils’ prelim exam results are uploaded to this system and are used to provide an estimate of pupil grades so that they can be entered for the correct level of Standard Grade final exam. The SQA also use the marks uploaded on the system in any appeals submitted on behalf of the pupils. It is therefore vital that the information uploaded to the SEEMIS system is accurate.

As part of the investigation that unfolded, Witness 2 obtained and reviewed the original exam papers so that a comparison could be made between the standard of the exam papers and the grades entered on the SEEMIS system by the Teacher. Having carried out that exercise, it transpired that incorrect grades had been entered on the system for many pupils and, in some instances, pupils who had not even sat the exam had been given a grade. In total, there were 26 grades that had been incorrectly entered.

Notwithstanding the discrepancies identified, the Teacher was given a further opportunity at the school and he continued to teach there during the 2012/2013 academic year. However, when it came to the prelims in 2013, the same issue arose. Witness 2 reported a total of 31 mistakes in relation to one class taught by the Teacher and 22 mistakes relating to one of his other classes.

The errors made by the Teacher in relation to the recording of prelim results were potentially far reaching, not just for the pupils concerned but also for the school’s credibility, in particular with the SQA. However, when the Teacher was spoken to directly about the problem he failed to acknowledge how serious his mistakes were.

As a result of the concerns raised about the Teacher’s teaching, he was placed on the LNCT 11 process in August 2013. The LNCT is a supportive framework, which has as its focus improving the quality of learning. Witness 1 met with the Teacher on 3 September to set out the specific standards of teaching that he was failing to meet. However, despite the significant level of support that was being provided to the Teacher, he continued to have great difficulty in achieving the standards expected of a registered teacher and did not engage with the support on offer. He failed to make use of his time outside the classroom to improve his teaching performance. He had an independent mentor outside of school and was given the opportunity to view other modern languages departments but he failed to make any meaningful progress. Instead the modern languages department was, “doing a lot to pick up the pieces” for the Teacher.

Witness 2 reported to Witness 1 that she had observed one of the Teacher’s classes on 5 November 2013 in which he used a worksheet for the class which was of a high standard. The Teacher gave the impression that he had created the worksheet, however, it later transpired that it had been produced by another teacher. Furthermore, the other teacher indicated that she had refused the Teacher permission to use it.

A further matter arose when the Teacher was off sick during the LNCT 11 process. Some pupils from his class reported that he was always on websites when he ought to have been teaching them. Following this report, Witness 1 asked the local authority IT department to provide her with a note of the Teacher’s Internet history between 5 December 2013 and 10 January 2014. Upon review of the Teacher’s search history, it became clear that he had been accessing websites unrelated to his work throughout this period, such as websites to do with sport and Germany, even though the school did not teach German. Furthermore, some of the websites the Teacher had attempted to access were adult websites.

It was clear on comparing the dates and times in the Internet search history with the Teacher’s teaching timetable, that he had been accessing a variety of Internet sites unrelated to his work during class contact time. It was equally clear that the Teacher had been carrying out Internet searches unconnected to his work during the many free periods that had been afforded to him per week. The Appellant’s use of ICT facilities in this way was a breach of the Glasgow City Council Acceptable Use of ICT Facilities Policy.

In light of the Teacher’s inappropriate use of ICT facilities, Witness 1 arranged an LNCT 11 Stage 2 review meeting with the Teacher on 10 January 2014. During the meeting there was a short break until 12.55 pm, the purpose of which was to make the Teacher feel more comfortable. However, the Teacher did not return until 1.15 pm. On reviewing his Internet search history for the period of the break and during the time when he should have returned to the meeting, it was discovered that he had made four attempts to access websites which were blocked by the system firewall because they fell into the category of “Adult Material: Sex”.

As a consequence of the Teacher’s behaviour, a disciplinary hearing was held on 3 March 2014, which he failed to attend. The Teacher was ultimately dismissed from his teaching role.

Witness 2

Witness 2 read aloud the content of her signed witness statement. She was then asked a number of supplementary questions by the Presenting Officer before being questioned by the Panel. The salient parts of the evidence given by Witness 2 can be summarised as follows.

Witness 2 was formerly employed as Faculty Head of Modern Languages at School 1 in August 2014 and had direct knowledge of the Teacher, who was allocated two Standard Grade classes. The Teacher also supported other classes throughout the school.

Witness 2 had concerns about the Teacher’s teaching performance soon after he arrived at the school but the situation became worse in 2012 when it was discovered that he had incorrectly recorded prelim exam results relating to a number of different pupils. The problem was discovered after Witness 2 reviewed all of the exam papers that the Teacher had responsibility for and compared the marks awarded to the grades entered by him on the SEEMIS system. It became apparent that some pupils had not even sat the exam but had been awarded a grade. In relation to the pupils who had sat the exam, grades were entered on the SEEMIS system that were higher than their actual grades. In total, Witness 2 discovered 26 errors made by the Teacher.

Witness 2 informed Witness 1 of her discovery and a meeting was organised with the Teacher. During this meeting Witness 2 discussed with the Teacher all of the concerns that she had regarding his teaching performance. The Teacher acknowledged that he had made some mistakes and agreed to come back the following year and implement the changes it was suggested he should make. In the meantime, Witness 2 organised for the pupils affected to resit their exams and all of the teachers within the department helped to mark their papers.

When the Teacher returned to teach in August 2012, initially, he seemed to be more engaged in his subject, however, when it came to the prelim exams the same issue arose again. On this occasion, there were 31 results entered incorrectly on the SEEMIS system and once again there were examples of pupils having been awarded grades when they had not sat the exam. It was the opinion of Witness 2 that there were simply too many errors for there to be an innocent explanation. As far as Witness 2 was concerned all of the errors arose because the Teacher wanted the department “off his back”.

Witness 2 expressed the same view as Witness 1; that the errors made by the Teacher had potentially serious consequences for the pupils concerned and the credibility of the school. Furthermore, it was only because the errors were noticed straight away and acted upon quickly that the pupils concerned were able resit their prelims. Despite that fact, the Teacher never acknowledged the seriousness of what he had done.

Having expressed concern to Witness 1 about the Teacher’s teaching performance, it was decided that he would proceed on LNCT 11 when he returned from a period of sick leave in August 2013. As part of that process, classroom observations of the Teacher’s teaching methods were carried out in order to assess his performance and provide guidance.

Witness 2 observed one of the Teacher’s classes on 5 November 2013. During the class the Teacher used a worksheet that was of a very high standard and when Witness 2 made that observation the Teacher smiled and nodded in agreement. Witness 2 was left with the impression that the worksheet was the Teacher’s own work, however, shortly after the class she was approached by a probationary teacher who revealed that she had in fact produced the worksheet. Not only that, but she was very clear that she had refused the Teacher permission to use it and was “enraged” that he had gone on to do so. This was yet another incident that was reported to Witness 1.

It was the opinion of Witness 2 that the Teacher, “really brought down the department”. She felt as though she was having to justify the performance of the department due to the Teacher’s poor performance throughout his time at the school. This was particularly hard to take given that the Teacher had been provided with a wealth of support and guidance.

Findings and reasons

In making its findings of fact the Panel gave careful consideration to all of the oral and documentary evidence presented and the submissions made by the Presenting Officer at the conclusion of her case.

The Panel had in mind that the burden of proof rested on the Presenting Officer throughout and that the standard of proof required is that used in civil proceedings, namely the balance of probabilities. The Panel also had regard to the guidance contained within the GTCS Fact-finding in Fitness to Teach Conduct Cases Practice Statement.

It was the Panel’s assessment that both of the witnesses (1 and 2) called were credible and reliable.

Witness 1 gave evidence in a straightforward and, in the Panel’s view, honest way. She was clear and consistent throughout her evidence. She had good recall but she would clearly indicate when she did not know the answer to a question. Her evidence was also supported by the Teacher’s Internet search records, which had been included within the Presenting Officer’s hearing papers along with his class timetable. By comparing these two documents, it was clear that the Teacher had been accessing Internet sites unconnected with his work during class-time and during free periods. It was also clear that he had, on a number of occasions, attempted to access adult sites.

For the same reasons given above, the Panel found Witness 2 to be both credible and reliable. Her evidence was also supported by objective evidence, namely the SEEMIS records included within the bundle of documents, the detail of which she was able to clearly explain.

Having made an assessment of the credibility and reliability of each of the witnesses, the Panel next considered whether the contested allegations had been proved to the required standard. The Panel arrived at the following conclusions.

Allegations 1(i) and 1(ii)

The Panel found allegation1(i) and 1(ii) proved on the balance of probabilities.

The Panel accepted the evidence of Witness 2 that she had carefully compared the prelim exam results recorded by the Teacher on the SEEMIS system during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 academic years with the actual exam papers. The Panel also accepted the evidence of Witness 2 that having carried out that exercise, she noticed that the Teacher had entered incorrect grades for a number of pupils and, in some instances, had recorded grades for pupils who had not even sat the exam. Witness 2 had been able to clearly explain her findings by reference to the information from the SEEMIS recording system, which had been included within the bundle of documents provided to the Panel.

Allegation 2

The Panel found allegation 2 proved on the balance of probabilities.

The Panel was advised by the Legal Assessor about the test for dishonesty, as set out in the recent Supreme Court decision of Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67. Having regard to the evidence given by Witness 2, the Panel was in no doubt that the Teacher’s actions in recording that a number of pupils had sat prelim exams on the SEEMIS recording system when in fact they had not, was dishonest by the standards of ordinary and decent people.

Allegation 3:

The Panel found allegation 3 proved on the balance of probabilities.

The Panel accepted the evidence of Witness 2 that she observed one of the Teacher’s classes on 5 November 2013 and that during the class he used a worksheet that did not belong to him, which he had taken without permission. Based on the evidence of Witness 2 as to how the Teacher reacted when he was praised for the quality of the worksheet, the Panel was satisfied that he had taken credit for it despite it not being his work.

Allegations 4(i) and 4(ii):

The Panel found allegation 4(i) proved on the balance of probabilities. under deletion of the words “including adult material websites”. The Panel found allegation 4(ii) proved on the balance of probabilities. after amending the allegation to include the words “and/or attempt to access”.

The Panel accepted the evidence of Witness 1 that she had reviewed the Teacher’s Internet search history and discovered that between the dates specified in allegation 4(i) he had accessed Internet sites unconnected with his work during class contact time. On careful review of the Teacher’s Internet search history, however, whilst it was clear that the Teacher had accessed sites that were unconnected with his work, such as sports and shopping websites, it was not clear that he had accessed adult material websites during class contact time. The Panel arrived at that view having compared the Teacher’s Internet search history for the period specified within allegation 4(i) with his class timetable. For that reason, the Panel found allegation 4(i) proved under deletion of the words, “including adult material websites”.

The Panel also accepted the evidence of Witness 1 that the Teacher had not engaged in the support plan provided to him in that he used work computers to access a variety of Internet sites, including adult material websites that were unconnected with his work (allegation 4(ii)). Once again the evidence of Witness 1 was supported by the Teacher’s Internet search history, which showed that he had accessed a number of websites unconnected with his work and had attempted to access adult websites during the period specified in the allegation. As a consequence, the Panel found this allegation proved, but prior to making its findings of fact amended allegation 4(ii) so that it read that the Teacher did (amendment underlined):

……. use work computers to access and/or attempt to access a variety of internet sites, including adult material websites which were unconnected with your work.

The Panel made this amendment pursuant to Rule 2.8.4 of the Rules because it was the evidence of Witness 1 that the Teacher’s attempts at accessing adult websites had been unsuccessful because of the system’s firewall.

Allegation 5:

The Panel found this allegation proved on the balance of probabilities.

The Panel accepted the evidence of Witness 1 that during the break in an LNCT11 Stage 2 Review meeting held on 10 January 2014 and also when the Teacher should have returned to the same LNCT11 Stage 2 Review meeting after the break, the Teacher accessed Internet sites that were unrelated to his work, including 4 attempts to access adult material. The evidence of Witness 1 was supported by the Teacher’s Internet search history for this day, which was included in the bundle of documents provided to the Panel.

Presenting Officer’s submissions on fitness to teach

The Panel found all of the allegations proved and invited the Presenting Officer to make submissions in relation to the Teacher’s fitness to teach.

It was submitted by the Presenting Officer that the Teacher had fallen significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher and that he had produced no evidence to show that he had remediated or taken steps to remedy the shortfalls in his teaching practice. The Panel was reminded of the evidence of both witnesses that the Teacher presented as indifferent when the concerns about his marking and recording of grades were raised with him, as he was in response to being challenged about using another colleague’s worksheet without permission. Furthermore, it was submitted that the evidence showed that the Teacher had been provided with support throughout his time at the school but had not taken advantage of that support or used his free time constructively.

It was submitted that the conduct described in allegation 1 was particularly serious because the Teacher had made the same errors repeatedly and had acted dishonestly by entering grades on the SEEMIS system for pupils who had not even sat the exam. Furthermore, his actions had potentially serious consequences for the pupils concerned, the department and the school’s reputation. By reference to the Indicative Outcomes Guidance the Panel was also reminded that dishonesty is particularly serious in a teaching context and invariably leads to an adverse outcome.

It was submitted that the Teacher’s repeated misuse of the IT system was also serious because he had wasted the opportunity to improve his teaching performance by engaging in internet activity unrelated to his work.

It was pointed out that because the Teacher’s conduct spanned the period 2011 to 2014, both the 2008 and the 2012 Codes of Professionalism and Conduct (COPAC) were relevant. The Panel was invited to have regard to the commentary in the section of both Codes dealing with honesty and integrity. It was submitted that the Teacher had breached Parts 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 of the 2008 Code and Parts 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 4.1 and 4.4 of 2012 Code. As a consequence, it was submitted that the Teacher was currently unfit to teach.

Findings on fitness to teach

The Panel gave careful consideration to all of the evidence presented and to the submissions made in relation to the Teacher’s fitness to teach. The Panel addressed the relevant considerations in relation to fitness to teach, as outlined in the GTCS Indicative Outcomes Guidance.

The Panel was satisfied that the Teacher’s conduct at the time fell significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher. Trust had been placed in the Teacher to properly review, mark and record prelim exam papers relating to a number of pupils but he repeatedly failed in that task. His decision to record grades for pupils who had not even sat the exam was clearly dishonest and was wholly undermining of the teaching profession and the duty incumbent on him to act with honesty and integrity at all times. His actions were repeated, despite receiving a wealth of support from a variety of sources. Furthermore, he had caused others in the department, in particular Witness 2, a lot of extra work in sorting out the problem and his actions had the potential to cause a great deal of harm.

The Panel was also satisfied that the Teacher had been indifferent to the concerns raised about his teaching practice. He showed little or no remorse for his actions during his discussions with Witnesses 1 and 2 and had demonstrated a lack of insight. Instead of using his time constructively in an effort to improve his teaching performance, he carried out searches on the Internet relating to matters unconnected with his practice during teaching hours and during free periods. Furthermore, it was apparent that pupils had been harmed by the Teacher’s inability to focus on his teaching because some pupils reported that they were not being taught properly because he (the Teacher) was more concerned with browsing the Internet.

Having regard to the Teacher’s conduct taken as a whole, the Panel was entirely satisfied that his actions amounted to misconduct. In the Panel’s assessment he had breached parts 1.3, 1.4 and 1.6 of the 2008 Code and Parts 1.3, 1,4, 1,5 ,1.6, 4.1 and 4.2 of the 2012 Code.

The Panel next considered whether the Teacher’s conduct was remediable, whether it had been remedied and the likelihood of the conduct being repeated. The Panel considered that the Teacher’s conduct, committed over a lengthy period of time, demonstrated that he has deep-seated attitudinal issues. The Panel was therefore satisfied that the conduct found proved was not easily remediable. There was no evidence that the Teacher’s conduct had been remedied or that he had taken steps to remedy his conduct. Furthermore, given that the conduct set out in allegations 1, 4 and 5 showed a pattern of concerning behaviour, the Panel considered that there was a high likelihood of reccurrence. The Panel was strengthened in that view by the fact that the Teacher had failed to benefit from the wealth of support that he had been given during his time at the school.

In all of the circumstances, the Panel was satisfied that the Teacher’s conduct, taken as a whole, was fundamentally incompatible with him being a registered teacher and that he is currently unfit to teach. The Panel considered that the Teacher’s conduct was so serious that not to make a finding that he is unfit to teach would result in public confidence in the teaching profession and in the GTCS as a regulator being undermined. Furthermore, the Panel considered that the public required to be protected from the type of conduct committed by the Teacher.

Disposal

As the Panel determined that the Teacher is unfit to teach, in accordance with the terms of Article 18(2)(b) of the Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011, it directed that the Teacher be removed from the Register.

Once the Teacher has been removed from the Register, he remains so removed unless and until an application for re-registration is made by him and a Fitness to Teach Panel directs that the application be granted.

The Panel directed that the Teacher should be prohibited from making an application for re-registration for a period of 2 years from the date of its decision. The Panel considered that a shorter time period was inappropriate given the seriousness of the allegations found proved and the lack of evidence to show that the Teacher has remediated or is unlikely to repeat the type of conduct set out in the allegations.

Professional competence referral

The Panel was aware that GTCS had received a recommendation that the Teacher’s registration be removed due to a lack of professional competence in the following parts of the GTCS Standards for Registration:

Part 1 – Professional Knowledge and Personal Commitment
Part 2 – Professional Knowledge and Understanding (Parts 2.1 and 2.2)
Part 3 – Professional Skills and Abilities (Parts 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4)

The Panel had been provided with a copy of the referral to GTCS and supporting documentation that had been provided by Glasgow City Council.

The Panel had regard to Rule 3.1.1 and noted that no challenge to the recommendation had been received from the Teacher and, furthermore, that it was unlikely that such a challenge would be received given that the Teacher could not be contacted. As the Teacher was unlikely to engage in the hearing process, the Panel was not of the view that a professional competence full hearing was necessary and decided to accept the recommendation made. In accordance with Rule 3.8, the Panel directed that the Teacher be removed from the Register in light of the professional competence concerns identified and be prohibited from applying to re-register for a period of 2 years from the date of removal.

Appeal

The Teacher has the right to appeal to the Court of Session against the decision within 28 days of service of the Decision Notice. The Teacher will remain on the Register until the appeal period has expired and any appeal lodged within that period has been determined.