Criminal Convictions

Criminal convictions are notified to us either:

  • directly by the police or courts where they relate to currently registered teachers; or
  • by Disclosure Scotland as part of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme when someone applies for registration; or
  • by Disclosure Scotland when information is added to a PVG Scheme Record as part of ongoing monitoring.

Teachers also sometimes tell us about a criminal conviction themselves.

This means we are notified of a wide range of criminal convictions, ranging from one-off road traffic offences to very serious offences related to child protection matters.

While we recognise that any criminal conviction is a serious matter, it would be disproportionate and unnecessary for us to treat all notified criminal convictions as Fitness to Teach referrals.

We therefore automatically screen certain criminal convictions out of our Fitness to Teach process in line with the guidance set out below. However, you must still disclose such convictions on your application for registration. If you do not, your application may be passed to our Regulation department for an assessment of your fitness to teach on the basis of non-disclosure of a conviction.

Assessment Stage 1

Does the criminal conviction fall into any of the categories listed below? If not, it can potentially be screened out and we move onto Assessment Stage 2.

  • It is a conviction for an offence which resulted in the imposition of a custodial sentence.
  • It is a conviction for an offence which resulted in the imposition of a direct alternative to custody namely a Community Payback Order (please note that these orders were previously known as: Community Service Orders (CSO), Probation Orders or Restriction of Liberty Orders (ROLO)).
  • The conviction, regardless of sentence, relates to:
    • Dishonesty.
    • Misuse of drugs.
    • Violence against a person.
    • Firearms, knives, offensive weapon or the offence was aggravated by the use of a weapon.
  • The offence is sexual in nature.
  • The offence is aggravated by being related to hate crime (prejudice based on sexuality, race, religion or disability).
  • Details are given that a child and/or vulnerable adult was a victim or was harmed by the offence.
  • Details are given which indicates that the offence took place in the course of carrying out teaching duties or is closely linked to this.    

Assessment Stage 2

Does the criminal conviction fall into one of the categories listed below? If the conviction falls into one of these categories, we automatically screen it out.

  • Conviction is over 5 years old and was disposed by way of:
    • A fine of less than £500
    • Admonition
    • Absolute Discharge
    • Conditional Discharge
    • Caution
  • Up to 3 convictions for road traffic offences of which none are punishable by way of a custodial sentence. (The road traffic offences that are publishable by way of a custodial sentence are set out in the table below).
Road Traffic Offences punishable by way of a custodial sentence
Road Traffic Act 1988Section 1Causing death by dangerous driving
Section 1ACausing serious injury by dangerous driving
Section 2Dangerous driving
Section 2BCausing death by careless or inconsiderate driving
Section 3ZBCausing death by driving: unlicensed or uninsured drivers
Section 3ZCCausing death by driving: disqualified drivers
Section 3ZDCausing serious injury by driving: disqualified drivers
Section 3ACausing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs
Section 4(1)Driving or attempting to drive when unfit to drive through drink or drugs
Section 4(2)Being in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle when unfit to drive through drink or drugs
Section 5(1)Driving or attempting to drive with excess alcohol in breath, blood or urine
Section 7Failing to provide specimen for analysis or laboratory test
Section 7AFailing to allow specimen to be subjected to laboratory test
Section 22ACausing danger to road users
Section 66CResisting or wilfully obstructing a stopping Officer
Section 94ADriving after refusal of licence under Section 92(3), revocation under Section 93 or service of a notice under Section 99C
Section 103(1)(b)Driving whilst disqualified
Regulations under Road Traffic Act Section 160 made by virtue of Paragraphs 2(4) and 4 of Schedule 2AMaking a false or misleading declaration to secure release of vehicle from immobilisation device and securing possession of vehicle in person’s custody
Section 170Failing to stop after accident and give particulars or report accident
Section 174Making certain false statements etc. and withholding certain material information
Section 178Taking a vehicle without authority, or, knowing that it has been so taken, driving it or allowing oneself to be carried in it without authority
Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988Section 115Mishandling or faking parking documents

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