GTC Scotland regularly consults teachers, members of the public and stakeholders with an interest in Scottish education on our work.

GTC Scotland consultations

Thank you to all who responded to our consultations.

Draft Strategic Plan 2023-2028

We consulted on a draft of our five-year Strategic Plan.

This consultation closed on 17 November 2022.

Results were analysed and feedback given to GTC Scotland Council members at their meeting in February 2023.

Draft Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges)

Thank you to those who responded to our consultation on a proposed Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges). This consultation closed on 11 November 2022.

The consultation responses were analysed by an independent consultant. Their report was presented to GTC Scotland Committees on 6 December and then to Council on 8 February.

Council have approved the Standard for Provisional Registration (Lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges) and it will come into effect from 3 April 2023.

Registration Rules

Thank you to those who responded to our consultation on proposed new Registration Rules to replace the current Registration and Standards Rules which were put in place in 2015. This consultation closed at 5 pm on 5 January 2022. We published our response on 4 March 2022.

The Registration Rules set out GTC Scotland’s registration criteria, ongoing registration requirements and how the Register of Teachers operates. They cover initial registration (entry to the Register) as well as enhancements to registration (for example, the awards of Professional Standard for Headship and Professional Recognition).

The current Registration Rules are now over 6 years old and require to be reviewed. Over the last six years, there have been many changes to Scottish education, teaching and GTC Scotland’s own policy context, including the introduction of mandatory registration for teachers in the independent school sector (by 1 June 2021) and college lecturers (from September 2021) as well as a new requirement for headteachers in local authority and grant-aided schools to be awarded the Professional Standard for Headship. Brexit has also taken place, meaning the legal framework in relation to the recognition of professional qualifications between European member states is no longer in place.

Recognising all of these factors and following internal review and engagement with key stakeholders, we consulted on proposed new (and renamed) Registration Rules.

Responses and Consultation Report

Documents related to this consultation

Professional Standards and Code

What we consulted on

We sought views on a refreshed set of Professional Standards as well as a new Professional Code (replacing the existing Code of Professionalism and Conduct document, known as COPAC).

The final drafts of the Professional Standards 2021 were approved by Council at the end of June 2020. Focus groups took place on 19 October – 13 November 2020 to gather final feedback about the draft standards.

Professional Standards 2021

The refreshed and restructured Professional Standards for Scotland Teachers were launched in January 2021 and enacted on 2 August 2021.

Professional Code

A review and consultation on a new Professional Code will follow in 2022-23.

Consultation Report

Memorandum on Entry Requirements for Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Scotland

Closed: 21 December 2018.

What we consulted on

Since 1965, the Scottish Government (under its various titles) has issued a Memorandum on Entry Requirements for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes in Scotland (Memorandum). Originally this was done on an annual basis but latterly it was issued on a less frequent basis. The previous Memorandum was issued by the GTC Scotland in 2013 and at the time GTC Scotland gave a commitment that the next review of the Memorandum would start in January 2018.

The Memorandum sets the minimum entry requirement for students’ entry to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes in Scotland. This consultation was held to ensure:

  • the Memorandum is relevant and fit for purpose
  • the content of the Memorandum is sufficiently comprehensive and clear to all stakeholders
  • that ITE applicants can use the Memorandum confidently to determine whether they meet with the minimum entry requirements when applying to join an ITE programme; and
  • ITE providers can provide up to date information in their literature to guide potential applicants on the expectations of the minimum entry requirements for ITE programmes.

This Memorandum took effect for applicants applying for ITE from academic session 2020/21.

Documents relating to this consultation

Fitness to Teach Rules

Closed: 29 November 2016

What we consulted on

On 29 September 2016, we published a consultation on proposed new Fitness to Teach Rules to replace our existing Fitness to Teach and Appeals Rules which were put in place in 2012.

The Fitness to Teach Rules set out the procedure that is followed when we investigate and determine the fitness to teach of our registrants or applicants for registration. We follow this process when we receive information that indicates that a teacher may have fallen short of the standards of conduct of professional competence that we expect.

Documents related to this consultation

Election Scheme

Closed 2 February 2017.

What we consulted on

On 15 December 2016, we published a consultation on proposed revisions to the GTC Scotland Council election process as outlined in the GTC Scotland Election Scheme, last reviewed in June 2014.

The GTC Scotland Election Scheme (the Scheme) outlines the process to be followed in the election of registered teachers to the Council membership. The 2015-2016 GTC Scotland Council Election was trialled as the first-ever solely online election. Feedback on the online process was largely positive and as a result, we have decided that all future elections will be conducted in this way. We want to maintain confidence in GTC Scotland as continuously looking at ways in which we can improve the way we do things. Our aim is to see a simplified nomination process which will make elections more accessible for all.

The response document below summarises the key points arising from the consultation and the changes being made to the Scheme. The updated version of the Scheme is now available on our website.

Related Documents

Why Research Stakeholder Research

GTC Scotland commissioned Why Research Limited to perform Stakeholder Research to gather the opinions on the organisation’s direction, role and remit.

List of past consultations 2010-2015
ConsultationConsultation dateRelated Documents
Registration and Standards RulesDecember 2015Consultation response: revised Registration and Standards Rules (PDF 133 KB)
Secondary probationer teachers achieving full registration in two subjectsFebruary 2015
Constitutional Documents (Appointments Scheme, Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme and Election Scheme)April 2014
Guidelines for Initial Teacher Education Programmes in Scotland and Memorandum on Entry Requirements to Programmes of Initial Teacher Education in ScotlandMay 2013Consultation process and responses: entry Memorandum and Guidelines (PDF 93 KB)
Code of Professionalism and ConductOctober 2011Consultation response: Code of Professionalism and Conduct (PDF 159 KB)
Revision of the Professional StandardsNovember 2012Consultation response: Revision of the Professional Standards (PDF 231 KB)
Preliminary findings from submissions (PDF 64 KB)
Scheme of Professional UpdateMarch 2012Consultation response: Professional Update (PDF 156 KB)
Position paper: Professional Update (PDF 172 KB)
Framework on Teacher CompetenceFebruary 2012Consultation response: Framework on Teacher Competence (PDF 139 KB)
Student Teacher CodeOctober 2011Consultation responses: Student Teacher Code (PDF 105 KB)
Fitness to Teach and Appeals RulesOctober 2011Consultation response: Fitness to Teach Appeals Rules (PDF 292 KB)
Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme and election and appointment processesFebruary 2011Consultation response: election and appointment processes (PDF 104 KB)
Consultation response: Code of Conduct and Membership Scheme (PDF 102 KB)
Registration and Standards RulesJanuary 2011Consultation responses: Registration and Standards Rules (PDF 108 KB)

Our responses to external consultations

A Human Rights Bill for Scotland: Consultation

GTC Scotland has responded to the Scottish Government’s proposals to introduce new human rights legislation in Scotland. In our response we highlight that the impact of any new duties should be properly assessed and should not impose undue financial or administrative burden on organisations that, in most cases, will already have limited resources.

Proposed Restraint and Seclusion (Prevention in Schools) (Scotland) Bill

GTC Scotland has responded to Daniel Johnson MSP’s Proposed Restraint and Seclusion (Prevention in Schools) (Scotland) Bill. In our response we highlighted access to quality education and learning about additional support needs as an area of need for teachers throughout their career and we agreed with the need for clarity around oversight of this issue. However, we cautioned against creating a solution that focused only on this specific issue, as it risks fragmenting an already complex system further. We advocated in favour of an approach that addresses systemic issues that exist within the wider child protection and safeguarding context and suggested introducing overarching, comprehensive statutory guidance, similar to guidance that is in place in England, that is aimed at keeping children safe in schools and colleges.

Access to information rights in Scotland

Response Date: 14 March 2023

GTC Scotland responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on access to information rights in Scotland. This consultation followed the work of the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee to scrutinise the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Consultation on minimum learning hours

Response date: 13 June 2023

GTC Scotland responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on minimum learning hours.

Our response to the consultation focuses on the definition of learning hours and, more specifically, who should deliver them.

We raise the prospect of placing the definition of ‘teacher’ on a clearer statutory footing to give our communities the reassurance that responsibility for curriculum design, assessment and learning and teaching rests with those who are qualified to do so.

Contribution to National Discussion on Scottish education

Response date: 5 December 2022

GTC Scotland submitted a contribution to the Scottish Government and Convention of Scottish Local Authorities’ (COSLA) national discussion focussed on developing the future vision for Scottish education.

Our feedback is organised into three themes:

  • every learner and the whole education system
  • system coherence, and
  • trust teacher and trust teaching.

Finally, we offer some reflections on the teaching profession’s engagement with this work.

Draft Physical intervention in schools’ guidance
Muir Review on Education Reform

Response Date: 17 December 2021

This paper is our response to the Muir Review, the consultation led by Professor Ken Muir on the replacement of the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the reform of Education Scotland.

UK Internal Market Bill

Response Date: 13 August 2020

UK Government

The UK Government held a consultation to collect views on the policy options set out in the UK internal market white paper.

GTC Scotland Response to UK internal market: policy option proposals consultation

UK Government response

Consultation outcome – UK internal market: policy option proposals

The Scottish Government Empowering Schools Consultation

Response Date: 31 January 2018

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government launched a consultation on the Education (Scotland) Bill which included provisions related to GTC Scotland.

Scottish Government’s analysis of responses.

Related Publications

Strategic Priorities of Education Scotland 2013-16

Response Date: 16 November 2012

Education Scotland

This paper is our response to the Education Scotland’s corporate plan which was looking to improve educational outcomes for children and adults in Scotland through strong partnerships.

Our response answered questions on:

National Outcomes
Education Scotland Objectives

Amendments to the induction regulations in Wales

Response Date: 24 May 2012

Welsh Government

This paper is our response to the Welsh Government’s consultation document which sets out proposals for new induction regulations for newly qualified teachers in Wales.

Our response answered questions on the following areas:

Periods of employment that count towards induction
Supervision and assessment against the practising teacher standards
Teachers who qualify outside the European Economic Area/Switzerland
Draft induction guidance

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