The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Enhancing professionalism in education since 1965

General Teaching Council for Scotland Fitness to Teach Panel Outcome

Procedural Meeting

29 November 2017

 Teacher  Scott Davidson
&npsp;Registration Number 083350
 Registration category  Secondary - Chemistry with Science
 Panel  Ijaz Ashraf, Kathleen McCormick, John Anderson
 Legal Assessor  Julie McKinlay
 Servicing Officer  Gillian Sim

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.

Background

The Teacher has signed a Removal with Consent Order. The Procedural Meeting was arranged to consider the application by the Teacher for the Teacher’s name to be anonymised in any Removal with Consent order published. In accordance with the Rules, the meeting was held in private.

Evidence

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

  • Signed Removal with Consent Order received in 29 August 2017;
  • Submission from the Teacher dated 29 August 2017
  • E mail chain between D Tovey (GTCS) and the Teacher regarding obtaining medical evidence dated 4 Septemner to 16 November 2017 (dates inclusive);
  • Letter from GP dated 22 September 2017.
  • In considering the application the Panel had regard to Rules 1.7.2 and 1.7.3 of the Rules and to the Conducting Hearings In Private Practice Statement. In particular the Panel noted that hearings are generally conducted in public. This is in the interests of the Teacher as it provides a safeguard against judicial arbitrariness and it also maintains public confidence in the administration of justice. The GTCS is committed to the carrying out of its functions openly and transparently which is fundamental to the maintenance of the public’s confidence in the GTCS as a professional regulator. However, the Panel acknowledged that there may be circumstances where the protection of the private life of the Teacher requires for any hearing or part of it to be heard in private or for anonymity to be granted. The Panel considered whether in the circumstances of this case, it was necessary in the interests of justice for the Teacher to be granted anonymity and whether this outweighed any interest in the matter being made public.

    In support of the application the Teacher presented evidence as to his health. The Panel had regard to the Health Matters and Medical Evidence Practice Statement in considering the evidence provided by the Teacher. In particular the Panel noted that in order to properly and fairly consider any medical evidence before them, the medical evidence should take the form of an appropriately detailed letter from a medical practitioner setting out various matters including the severity of the condition, the prognosis and the specific impact of the condition on the Teacher as regards the GTCS proceedings. (Sensitive health information redacted).

    The Panel considered the letter provided by the Teacher from his GP carefully. The Panel noted that whilst it contained a diagnosis the Teacher appeared to be responding well to medication. There was no indication of the severity of the condition, the prognosis or details of the nature or extent of any impact on his health of the publication of the Removal with Consent Order. In all the circumstances the Panel considered that the evidence submitted as to the Teacher’s health was not sufficient to outweigh the interests of the public in the functions and decisions of the GTCS being carried out openly and transparently and the maintenance of public confidence in the administration of justice.

    In all the circumstances the Panel refused the application for the Teacher’s name to be anonymised in respect of the Removal of Consent Order.