The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Registration in the independent school sector

GTCS and independent schools are working together to help all teachers achieve. registration by October 2020.

In October 2017, new Scottish Government regulations came into force, requiring all teachers working in the independent school sector to hold registration with GTC Scotland. While most teachers working in the sector were already registered, a significant minority were not. Therefore, it was agreed that teachers who were appointed prior to the regulations coming into force would be given three years in which to gain registration. The aim of this transition period was to enable these teachers to maintain their employment and prevent negative impact on them, their schools and the teaching and learning of the young people.

Time has flown and we are now almost two years into the three-year transition period. During this period, many schools have worked closely with GTC Scotland to help their teachers to obtain registration and we have been providing advice and guidance to help make the process as smooth as possible for everyone.

At this point we are taking stock, looking at the progress that has been made since October 2017 and identifying how many teachers still need to be supported through registration over the next 12 months.

According to the last Education Scotland Independent School Census, at the end of 2018 there were more than 500 teachers employed at independent schools in Scotland who did not hold registration with GTC Scotland. Based on the rate of registration of teachers in the sector, our expectation is that the results of the 2019 census will show that a significant number of teachers are still to be registered.
To help schools to identify which members of their staff require registration, and being mindful of GDPR requirements, we will be providing lists of registered teachers to headteachers from summer 2019 onwards. We will also continue to be available to provide advice and guidance to both schools and teachers about the registration process. If you are an independent school and you have any doubts at all about whether you or your staff members are required to hold registration (e.g. if their job title is not that of teacher but their duties are similar to that of a teacher) we recommend looking at Section 2.2. of the SNCT (Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers) Handbook, which sets out the duties of a teacher and can be found at

We will be in regular communication with all independent schools over the next year and we have also launched a new independent school newsletter which includes useful information and important updates. You can subscribe to this newsletter via the Independent School Registration section of our website, where you will also find additional guidance, information and the relevant application forms.

If you have any questions, please contact Claire Williamson at