Decision: Alastair Sim (Panel Meeting A)
GTC Scotland Fitness to Teach Panel Outcome
22 May 2019
|Registration Category||Secondary – Music|
|Panel||Maureen Anderson, David Tierney and Ian McDonough|
|Legal Assessor||James Mulgrew|
|Servicing Officer||Louise Jackson|
|Teacher’s representative||Darren Wapplington, NASUWT (not present)|
Any reference in this outcome to:
- “GTCS” means the General Teaching Council for Scotland;
- the “Panel” means the Fitness to Teach Panel considering the case;
- the “Rules” (and any related expression) means the GTCS Fitness to Teach Rules 2017 or refers to a provision (or provisions) within them;
- the “Register” means the GTCS register of teachers; or
- “COPAC” means the GTCS Code of Professionalism and Conduct.
There are outstanding proceedings before GTCS in relation to the Teacher’s professional competence which have been initiated by the Teacher’s employer. The Teacher’s Representative raised a preliminary matter seeking that certain material is not included in the papers to be considered by a Panel at a Professional Competence Fitness to Teach Hearing.
Information Available to the Panel:
- Email correspondence between GTCS and the Teacher’s Representative
- Letter dated 31 May 2017 to Teacher from the Headteacher.
The Teacher’s Submissions
The Teacher’s Representative identified an issue with some of the information provided by the Teacher’s employer. This related to a letter sent by the then Head Teacher to the Teacher. The letter was the initial instigation of LNCT11. The Representative submitted that the letter should only be included in redacted form. He submitted that the part he wished redacted should be removed as it did not relate to the period of the alleged under-performance, that it was not relevant and it referred to conduct allegations that were sensitive in nature. Those allegations were not substantiated nor dealt with at a disciplinary hearing.
The Panel had careful regard to the application made, the supporting papers and the written submissions made by the Teacher’s Representative. The Panel took account of the provisions within the Rules and guidance provided by GTCS practice statements
The Panel ordered that the letter be redacted in the manner sought by the Teacher’s Representative. The Panel’s view was that the conduct referred to in the letter was irrelevant to the competence issues referred to later in the letter. Further the letter refers to the conduct investigation being at an end and thus the Teacher would have an expectation that was the case. The material was also potentially prejudicial, but the Panel would have expected any Panel dealing with the competence issues at a full hearing to put irrelevant matters out of its mind.