The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland) is the teaching profession’s independent registration and regulation body. We work to maintain and enhance trust in teaching.
It is a legal requirement for all those employed as teachers in Scottish schools to be registered with us.
As part of agreed national terms and conditions of employment, college lecturers must register with us.
Who we are, what we do and why we do it
Our role is to register and regulate teachers and college lecturers. We do this by keeping a public register and setting and upholding the standards for entering and remaining in the teaching profession.
We ensure these standards are maintained by asking teachers and college lecturers to confirm their commitment to learning, and that standards are improved by encouraging ongoing learning. This contributes to improving the quality of teaching and learning.
We uphold the standards and protect the public by investigating serious concerns about teachers and college lecturers.
Registering and regulating the teaching profession gives us insight. We use our voice to speak up for high standards. It is high standards that help instil trust in the profession and enhance the status of the profession.
We are governed by a Council of 37 members.
We are independent from government and receive no funding for our core role of registration and regulation. This work is funded by the fees teachers and college lecturers pay.
Our role is set out in law (see our Governing Legislation below).
What we do
Our Vision: Trusted teaching.
Our Mission: Maintain the integrity of registration and regulation of the teaching profession as a safeguard for the quality of education in Scotland. To enhance trust in teaching at an individual, group and system level. This ensures the best possible outcomes for learners.
GTC Scotland was set up in 1965. It was created following calls from teachers for a body to ensure teacher standards and was one of the first teaching councils in the world.
In 2012, it became the world’s first independent professional and regulatory body for teaching.
Our core tasks
- Ensure professional standards with and for Scotland’s teachers and college lecturers
- Outline the conduct expected of teachers and college lecturers
- Keep the Register of Teachers in Scotland by registering teachers who have qualified within Scotland as well as in the rest of the world against our qualifications and suitability criteria
- Accredit programmes of Initial Teacher Education
- Ensure teachers and college lecturers maintain professional learning through our required Professional Update process
- Investigate and determine serious concerns about the conduct or professional competence of teachers through our fitness to teach process
- Provide a voice for teaching by giving advice to Scottish Government Ministers and other partners
- Encourage the professional growth of teachers and college lecturers by:
- providing opportunities for Professional Recognition
- awarding the Standard for Headship
- supporting additional subject or sector registration
- recognising the high standards of the teaching profession in Scotland through our awards and events
- engaging with national and international partners with the aim of influencing teacher growth in Scotland
- providing information, advice and support direct to teachers through Teaching Scotland magazine and a series of professional guides
Our governing legislation
- Our role in law: The Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011
- Requirement for teachers working in Scotland’s Local Authorities to register: The Requirements for Teachers (Scotland) Regulations 2005
- Requirement for teachers in Independent and Grant Aided Schools to register: The Registration of Independent Schools (Prescribed Person) (Scotland) Regulations 2017
- Agreement for College Lecturers to register: National Joint Negotiating Committee Circular 03/18