GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Covid-19 – Update and FAQs

18 March 2020

Updated 19 February 2021

GTC Scotland has been closely monitoring the development of Covid-19 and the expert scientific and medical advice provided by Scottish Government.

We want to reassure all registrants and stakeholders about the steps we have been taking to ensure we stay open for business as usual.

As an organisation we are well prepared to cope and, following the latest advice from Scottish Government, we have invoked our Business Continuity Plan. All GTC Scotland employees will work from home until further notice.

We owe a debt of gratitude for the commitment and professionalism of teaching professionals across Scotland who are doing all they can to ensure the delivery of high quality education to all children, young people and students in these most challenging times. Education in Scotland often comes under attack but the reaction of schools, colleges and education professionals to this crisis clearly demonstrates the moral imperative they hold in doing all they can for their students and Scottish society more generally.

GTC Scotland remains open for business. We aim to provide, as far as possible, a business as usual service to all registrants for as long as required.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs were originally published on 24 March 2020 and will be updated regularly in response to enquiries and as we develop processes.

Our telephone lines are open as normal: Mon-Thu 08:30-17:00 and Fri 08:30-16:00.

You can also send messages to relevant departments through the contact form here

We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding at this challenging time.

Can I still apply for registration?

Yes, our registration processes are operating as usual. You will find full details about how to apply and submit your application under Registration on this website, or email registration@gtcs.org.uk

How will the college lecturer registration programme be impacted?

The work of the College Lecturer Registration Steering Group and the two sub-groups will continue. Much of this work will be done via video and phone conference and will continue to move forward this important initiative.

How do I get in touch with GTC Scotland about my case?

All employees are working from home and are fully contactable. If you would like to discuss your case with a member of the Regulation and Legal Services (RALS) Team please email regulation@gtcs.org.uk

I currently have a Fitness to Teach case ongoing, what will happen to it?

If your case is at the investigation stage, the Investigating Officer assigned to your case will continue to carry out investigations and progress your case, where possible. As part of our investigations we rely on third parties providing us with information. In light of the unprecedented circumstances, third parties may not be in a position to provide GTC Scotland with information in accordance with the normal timescales. Regulation Officers will however continue to keep you updated about the progress of your case.

If due to the current circumstances you or your representative are unable to provide responses to requests for comment or information, please let the Investigating Officer know. We understand that this may be a very difficult time for you, and we would urge you to seek support from your representative or line manager. If you would like to speak to the Investigating Officer who is dealing with your case, please email

If your case has been referred for a hearing, the Servicing Officer will continue, where possible, to manage your case through the process up to the point of scheduling a hearing.

I have been asked to provide a response as part of a fitness to teach investigation within a certain time period but this is not enough time – what should I do?

In the first instance, we strongly encourage anyone subject to a fitness to teach investigation to appoint a representative as they will be able to provide you with help and support. However, we fully understand that you may not be able to access support in the same way at this time. As a result, if either you/your representative cannot comply with a deadline please contact us at and we will be happy to provide an extension of time to allow you sufficient time to seek support and provide information to us.

I want to raise a referral, are you still accepting/processing them at this time?

Yes, we are well prepared to operate as usual when it comes to receiving and assessing new referrals and able to accept and process new referrals in the usual way. Whether you are an employer wishing to make a referral or a member of the public, please visit where you will find information about how to make a referral and a link to the online referral form.

Is the National Probationer Event 2020 going ahead?

The National Probationer event scheduled for June 2020 was replaced by this online celebration of our nominated probationers.

We are currently working on plans for a 2021 celebration and will share these with Probationers, Probation Managers and Supporters when they are finalised.

Is the GTCS and Education Scotland Leadership Awards ceremony (Standard for Headship) going ahead?

The GTCS and Education Scotland Leadership Awards event was replaced by this online celebration of participants in Into Headship and In Headship.

I need guidance on Professional Update, who do I contact?

GTC Scotland remains open for business as usual with staff working from home. If you have a PU enquiry the best way to contact our team is to email professional.update@gtcs.org.uk. Please quote your six-digit registration number and provide a telephone number so that we can provide a call back service as required.

Are PU deferrals no longer available?

If you are not currently working, or you are not working in a Scottish school (or within an organisation which has not had PU/PRD processes validated by GTC Scotland) and would like to request a deferral please contact professional.update@gtcs.org.uk.

Where can I find learning resources while working from home?

The following resources may be useful to promote collaboration for ongoing professional learning and ongoing PRD-type conversations.

I don’t work in a Scottish school and my PU sign-off is due this year. How will this impact me?

You can complete your PU sign-off by Direct Submission. Direct Submissions - Teachers working outwith Scotland or within Scotland but outwith a validated system This can be done at any point. If you need further guidance please contact the PU Team at professional.update@gtcs.org.uk

Our local authority is due to undergo Professional Update Revalidation for PU and PRD. What will happen?

All panels for PU Revalidation will be hosted using a digital platform for the foreseeable future. Your GTC Scotland link officer will maintain contact to identify suitable dates and to support you through the process. In the interim period, GTC Scotland will be exploring possible options for revalidation and collaboration through digital platforms.

We are likely to have staff changes with a new officer having lead role for PU next session. Who should I inform?

Please advise the PU team professional.update@gtcs.org.uk if there is likely to be a change of lead officer. We will provide individual support as required to new officers. GTC Scotland is also in the process of developing a PU Lead Officer handbook which will provide guidance for local authority officers.

What will happen with seminars for the PU Officer network?

We will also keep you updated through email and share any relevant information through the PU Officer Sharepoint platform. Any further information can be obtained by contacting professional.update@gtcs.org.uk.

Professional Update: Independent Schools

The schedule of PU Revalidation/Endorsement in independent schools has been delayed due to the suspension of the Revalidation process within local authorities. PU leads within independent schools will be provided with an update by the GTC Scotland Professional Update team during Term 1 of academic session 2020-21.

Can I make an individual application for Professional Recognition?

GTC Scotland continues to welcome applications from teachers for the award of Professional Recognition. Panels convene on a monthly basis in an online forum to consider applications received. The following link takes you to guidance and information to support your application: Making an individual application for Professional Recognition

Can I make an application for Professional Recognition for a programme?

GTC Scotland welcomes applications from programme providers for Professional Recognition accreditation. The following link takes you to guidance and information to support applications: Accreditation of Programmes Leading to Professional Recognition. Please contact jacqueline.morley@gtcs.org.uk to discuss any aspects of the Professional Recognition process.

Professional Learning Award for Organisations

Can I make an application for a Professional Learning Award for Organisations?

GTC Scotland welcomes applications from programme providers for the Professional Learning Award for Organisations. The following link takes you to guidance and information to support applications Professional Learning Award for Organisations Guidance.

Please contact jacqueline.morley@gtcs.org.uk to discuss any aspects of the Professional Learning Award for Organisations.

Will planned ITE accreditation panels go ahead?

All planned ITE accreditation panels will continue as already agreed with individual ITE providers. This has included some changes to timelines and using digital communication channels where possible.

Will there be any impact on the timeline for the accreditation panel process?

New arrangements have been made with ITE providers for planned re-accreditations.

For any other question about accreditation of ITE programme or accreditation panels please contact charlaine.simpson@gtcs.org.uk.

Students

What is the latest information on school placements?

GTC Scotland, ADES, SCDE and SPMG have released guidance on student teacher placements in Scotland:

Publication date: 19 February 2021

Current Probationers

What are the expectations around probation requirements such as, observations, supporter meetings?

We understand that there may be issues in completing some areas of the profile e.g. observations and supporter meetings. We advise that if you have any major concerns to contact your probation manager. We appreciate probationers’ concerns and GTC Scotland will be as flexible as we can.

How will this affect the number of days required in order to finish probation?

We realise that school closures and self-isolation may impact on the number of days completed. In order to gain full registration at the end of the school session in June 2020, we are asking the following:

  • Teacher Induction Scheme

    Anyone currently on the Teacher Induction Scheme (TIS) will be required to have completed a minimum of 120 (the revised requirement of 140 days minus the established absence allowance of 20) satisfactory days at school. We would expect that any days missed from the usual expectation of 190 days will, if possible, provide probationers with an opportunity to engage in some professional learning activities.

    The maximum number of days that can be missed is 70.

    The number of days missed should include any days of absence due to ill health or personal reasons (up to a maximum of 20 days). Any TIS Probationers who have completed less than 120 satisfactory days in a school have been asked to contact GTC Scotland for specific advice. It is our intention to offer any probationers in this position a support package in the autumn. GTC Scotland is currently taking time to consider the implications that days missed beyond the acceptable 120 may have on registration and will advise in due course.

  • Flexible Route

    At the end of this school session, GTC Scotland will accept a minimum of 200 satisfactory days in the classroom with any missed days from the usual expectation of 270 days possibly providing an opportunity to engage in professional learning activities.

Does work from home count?

We are working with employers to ensure that anybody who is working towards meeting the Standard for Full Registration (SFR) is not disadvantaged by the school closures. Probationers following the Teacher Induction Scheme or the Flexible Route have had the number of required satisfactory days reduced to take into account the school closures.

We hope that probationers will continue to work towards the SFR from home by engaging in learning activities and this can be recorded in the professional learning section of the profile.

What professional learning can I do from home?

In collaboration with probation managers, we have collected a variety of resources which we hope will be useful to probationers who are looking to engage in learning activities during the school closures.

When can I request a recommendation for full registration?

A recommendation for full registration cannot be requested either on TIS or the Flexible Route until the missed days i.e. when schools are closed, have passed. This is because there is an expectation from GTC Scotland that during the school closures probationers will continue to find opportunities to engage in learning activities related to the Standard for Full Registration.

I am a Flexible Route probationer working full-time in one school for the whole year. How many days do I have to do?

Flexible Route probationers who have a one-year contract in one school and were hoping to gain full registration after 190 days will be asked to meet the same number of satisfactory days as TIS probationers i.e. 140 days.

If I volunteer to work in a Children’s Hub during the school closures, will the days worked count towards my probation?

Please contact your employer for more information.

How do I record the days missed due to school closures if I’m a Flexible Route probationer?

Days missed should be recorded in a Record of Teaching Service and details of professional learning that you have engaged in recorded in an observation. The observation and Record of Teaching Service should be submitted to the school where you would have been working for sign off. When this is signed off by the school as satisfactory you will be credited with the days towards your probation.

How do I submit my Final Profile?

If minimum requirements have been met and signed off then the final profile may have been submitted for recommendation following the usual process. For other probationers who have not yet submitted their profile or who have not met these requirements, there will be a ‘Submit for Recommendation’ button added to the final profile on Friday 22 May. This will enable profiles to be submitted to the supporter for recommendation. Please ensure that before submission, the profile content is up to date and that relevant entries have been signed off by the supporter.

I have read all the FAQs, but I don’t fit into any of the examples. What should I do?

We realise that there will be some probationers who have a slightly different journey through probation. If you are still unsure after reading the FAQs, please contact pld@gtcs.org.uk

SCEL Legacy Fund Bursaries

Applications for the award of grants to teachers from the SCEL Legacy Fund are now open.

Are Development Officers still able to engage with other stakeholders while the office is closed?

Yes, the Development Officers are able to engage with all stakeholders remotely and this has been the case since March 2020. Meetings are taking place online and training has also taken place online. This has worked very well across a number of different platforms and we would suggest contacting Jim Moore using the details below to discuss any bespoke training needs:

Jim Moore: 07775 626631 jim.moore@gtcs.org.uk