Decision: Jade Moore (Full Hearing)

GTC Scotland Fitness to Teach Panel Outcome

Professional Competence Full Hearing

31 January, 1 February and 19 May 2022

TeacherJade Moore
Registration Number137227
Registration CategoryPrimary
PanelBrian Feeney (Convenor), Gillian Fagan and Catriona McDonald
Legal AssessorJohn Moir (31 and 1 February)
David McLean (19 May)
Servicing OfficerAga Adamczyk
Teacher’s representativeClaire Raftery, Clyde & Co

Any reference in this decision to:

  • ‘GTC Scotland’ means the General Teaching Council for Scotland;
  • the ‘Panel’ means the Fitness to Teach Panel considering the case;
  • the ‘Rules’ means the GTC Scotland Fitness to Teach Rules 2017;
  • the ‘Standards’ means the GTC Scotland Standards for Registration 2012;
  • the ‘SFR’ means the GTC Scotland Standard for Full Registration;
  • the ‘Local Authority’ means Glasgow City Council; and
  • the ‘Report’ means the Case Overview Report.

Recommendation

GTC Scotland received a recommendation from the Local Authority that the Teacher’s registration be removed because it is alleged that her professional competence falls below the standards expected of a fully registered teacher. In the Report submitted with the recommendation, it is alleged that the Teacher lacks professional competence because she has not maintained the sections of the Standards as indicated by an ‘N’ in the following table. Standards met are indicated by a ‘Y’ and ‘NJ’ indicates no judgement:

1Professional Values and Personal CommitmentSFR
1.1Social JusticeY
1.2IntegrityY
1.3Trust and RespectY
1.4Professional CommitmentNJ
2Professional Knowledge and UnderstandingSFR
2.1Curriculum
2.1.1Have knowledge and understanding of the nature of the curriculum and its development. N
2.1.2Have knowledge and understanding of the relevant area(s) of pre-school, primary or secondary curriculum. N
2.1.3Have knowledge and understanding of planning coherent and progressive teaching programmes. N
2.1.4Have knowledge and understanding of context for learning to fulfil their responsibilities in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and interdisciplinary learning. N
2.1.5Have knowledge and understanding of the principles of assessment, recording and reporting N
2.2Education Systems and Professional Responsibilities
2.2.1Have knowledge and understanding of the principal features of the education system, educational policy and practice. Y
2.2.2Have knowledge and understanding of the schools and learning communities in which they teach and their own professional responsibilities within them. Y
2.3Pedagogical Theories and Practice
2.3.1Have knowledge and understanding of relevant educational principles and pedagogical theories to inform professional practices. N
2.3.2Have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in professional enquiry NJ
3Professional Skills and AbilitiesSFR
3.1Teaching and Learning
3.1.1Plan coherent, progressive and stimulating teaching programmes which match learners’ needs and abilities.N
3.1.2Communicate effectively and interact productively with learners, individually and collectively. N
3.1.3Employ a range of teaching strategies and resources to meet the needs and abilities of learners. N
3.1.4Have high expectations of all learners. N
3.1.5Work effectively in partnership in order to promote learning and wellbeing. N
3.2Classroom Organisation and Management
3.2.1Create a safe, caring and purposeful learning environment. N
3.2.2Develop positive relationships and positive behaviour strategies. N
3.3Pupil Assessment
3.3.1Use assessment, recording and reporting as an integral part of the teaching process to support and enhance learning. N
3.4Professional Reflection and Communication
3.4.1Read and critically engage with professional literature, educational research and policy. N
3.4.2Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise. N

The Report along with the accompanying written evidence explained why the Local Authority formed this view.

The Teacher was provided with a copy of the Report and evidence and thereafter stated to GTC Scotland in writing that she wished to challenge the recommendation made. In her response, the Teacher admitted that she has not maintained the following SFRs: 3.1.1, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4. However, the Teacher   disputed that she has not maintained 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.3.1, 3.1.2,

  • , 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.3.1, 3.4.1 and3.4.2. Accordingly, the hearing was arranged to consider the matter.

Given the Teacher’s admissions with regard to 3.1.1, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4, the Panel noted at the hearing that its options in this case were either to order that:

  • the Teacher be subject to a conditional registration order for such period of time (which may be unlimited), and with such conditions attached, as may be specified by the Panel provided always that she is, and continues to be, eligible for registration and that any failure to comply with such an order may permit a Panel to direct that her name be removed from the Register in line with Rule 3.8.1 (c); or
  • the Teacher’s name be removed from part or parts of the Register in line with Rule 3.8.1 (d).

Preliminary Issues

At the start of the hearing, the Panel was asked by the Teacher’s Representative to consider the matters relating to the Teacher’s health in private.

The Panel carefully considered the terms of Rule 1.7.3, the reasons provided by the Teacher’s Representative, and the public interest in deciding whether or not to grant the application. It considered that it was justified to hear matters relating to the health of the Teacher in private in order to protect her privacy.

Further to this, the Teacher’s Representative asked the Panel to admit late papers which consisted of the Teacher’s reflective statement and character testimonials. The Panel considered Rule 1.7.22 and the Representative’s reasons for late submissions. The Panel decided to admit the late papers as it considered the documents to be relevant to the proceedings.

During the Teacher’s closing statement, the Teacher’s  Representative referred to a Court of Session decision in the case of AD vs GTC Scotland (2019). As the Panel was not provided with the legal advice with regard to this case, a further date was scheduled on 19 May 2022 where the legal advice was provided to the Panel, and the Teacher’s Representative was given the opportunity to provide comments on the advice provided. Thereafter, the Panel resumed its deliberations in private.

Evidence and Submissions

The Teacher provided an opening and closing statement and answered questions put to her by the Panel. The Panel also asked questions of the local authority representatives, Witness 1, Headteacher of St Benedict’s Primary (previously Headteacher of St Thomas’ Primary), Witness 2 , Depute Headteacher of St Thomas Primary, Witness 3, Headteacher of St Paul’s Primary Shettleston, and Witness 4, Senior HR Officer and Bullying and Harassment Investigator at Glasgow City Council.

The written evidence submitted for consideration by the Panel was:-

  1. Case Overview Report, dated 31 October 2019
  2. Evidence submitted by the Local Authority in support of the recommendation
  3. Response form confirming challenge of recommendation, dated 16 December 2019
  4. Teacher’s response to Case Overview Report
  5. Further submissions from the Local Authority.

Findings in Fact

The Panel had in mind that the standard of proof required is that used in civil proceedings, namely the balance of probabilities and that it must base its decision on the evidence before it. Accordingly, the Panel carefully considered all of the oral and written evidence presented at the hearing, along with the submissions made by the Teacher and the Local Authority representatives during the hearing, in making its findings in fact.

The Panel noted that in her response, the Teacher admitted that she has not maintained the following standards: 3.1.1, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4. Accordingly, the Panel proceeded to consider the evidence with regard to the areas of the SFR in dispute, namely:

2.1.1 Have knowledge and understanding of the nature of the curriculum and its development.

2.1.2 Have knowledge and understanding of the relevant area(s) of pre-school, primary or secondary curriculum.

2.1.3 Have knowledge and understanding of planning coherent and progressive teaching programmes.

2.1.4 Have knowledge and understanding of context for learning to fulfil their responsibilities in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing and interdisciplinary learning.

2.1.5 Have knowledge and understanding of the principles of assessment, recording and reporting.

2.3.1 Have knowledge and understanding of relevant educational principles and pedagogical theories to inform professional practices.

3.1.2 Communicate effectively and interact productively with learners, individually and collectively.

3.1.5 Work effectively in partnership in order to promote learning and wellbeing.

3.2.1 Create a safe, caring and purposeful learning environment.

3.2.2 Develop positive relationships and positive behaviour strategies.

3.3.1 Use assessment, recording and reporting as an integral part of the teaching process to support and enhance learning.

3.4.1 Read and critically engage with professional literature, educational research and policy.

3.4.2. Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise.

The Panel proceeded with questions directed at the Teacher and the Local Authority representatives in order to ascertain the degree of the shortfalls alleged.

With regard to the Panel’s assessment of the Local Authority representatives, the Panel was of the view that they all were credible and tried to assist the Panel to the best of their ability and recollection. Their evidence was given in a clear, straightforward and professional manner. Although the Panel noted that in terms of reliability, Witness 1 and Witness 2 were the best placed to provide evidence with regard to the alleged shortfalls and the Teacher’s teaching ability during her time at St Thomas’ Primary. The Panel was also assisted by the evidence of Witness 3; however, it had noted that as the Teacher taught at St Paul’s Primary Shettleston for a much shorter period of time, Witness 3’s evidence was much more limited in terms of its scope. The Panel was also assisted by the evidence of Witness 4, however, it had noted that Witness 4’s evidence was limited to the details surrounding the bullying and harassment complaint.

The Panel found the Teacher to be credible and reliable, and she assisted the Panel with her detailed responses which she provided in a straightforward and professional manner. Further to this, she readily acknowledged where there were gaps in her knowledge and teaching ability.

Having considered the written and oral evidence, the Panel noted that there was insufficient evidence provided to support the alleged shortfalls with regard to 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 3.1.2, and 3.3.1. The Panel was of the view that the Teacher demonstrated a good understanding in relation to those standards. In particular, she provided a detailed example of a Mathematics lesson that she had planned where she used learning intentions, success criteria, and the plenary to plan further lessons. The Teacher gave a further detailed example of a lesson dedicated to Mary Queen of Scots which, in the Panel’s view, was an excellent example of interdisciplinary learning that would cover a number of curricular areas. The Panel also noted that there was insufficient evidence provided by the Local Authority to demonstrate that the Teacher had not maintained those standards. The Panel had before it copies of the observations and mentoring notes, however, it considered that the alleged shortfalls had not been sufficiently documented by the Local Authority.

With regard to 2.1.3, 2.3,1, 3.1.5 and 3.4.2, the Panel considered that there was a range of evidence from the Local Authority that those standards had not been maintained by the Teacher, including the observation and mentoring meeting notes included within the bundle. This was also supported by the oral evidence of Witness 1 in particular, who told the Panel about the level of support put in place for the Teacher in order to help her to meet those standards, including

observations, mentoring, and team-teaching. Witness 1 told the Panel that despite the level of support, the Teacher was unable to demonstrate sufficient progress during the observed lessons; she was unable to demonstrate that she had taken feedback from colleagues on board and did not take notes.

The Panel was also of the view that the Teacher was unable to provide satisfactory examples to the Panel of how she had maintained those standards. In particular, the Teacher did not illustrate how she would plan lessons for pupils with a variety of needs. The Panel noted that although the Teacher referred to a pupil with dyspraxia, she did not make reference to other Additional Support Needs in her answers. Further to this, the Teacher did not refer to specific steps that she would take in order to plan coherent and progressive teaching. The Panel noted that the Teacher stated that during the observed lessons she did not push the children’s boundaries and was very controlling over their learning as she was concerned that if a child took too long to answer, this would then be considered as a reflection on her teaching. The Teacher also told the Panel that she greatly appreciated the support put in place and she worked hard to build and maintain good working relationships with her colleagues; however, at some point during the LNCT 11 process, she felt overwhelmed with the advice given and felt that she was trying to implement every teaching style and strategy she observed. The Teacher also told the Panel about the difficulties she faced with regard to her working relationship with Witness 1. The Teacher told the Panel that the relationship deteriorated to an extent that it impacted her health, [redacted]. The Teacher told the Panel that she felt belittled and undermined. The Teacher also spoke about the impact [redacted]. The Teacher told the Panel that once she was transferred to St Paul’s Primary Shettleston her confidence in her teaching ability was already at rock bottom. She had been deeply upset for her learners and that her classroom at St Thomas’ Primary was cleared during her absence. She told the Panel that with regard to her health she was now in a better place. She wants to teach. She wants to do the best for children. The Teacher told the Panel that she considered her fitness to  teach to be currently impaired and asked the Panel to consider  a Conditional Registration Order. When asked by the Panel what strategies she would use if faced again with challenging working relationships, the Teacher stated that she would seek to find a different post.

The Panel also heard evidence from Witness 4 who spoke to the Local Authority process relating to bullying and harassment. Witness 4 told the Panel that the working relationship between the Teacher and Witness 1 had been deemed unrepairable, and the Teacher had been transferred to St Paul’s Primary Shettleston; however, there was no finding of bullying or harassment made.

Fitness to Teach

Having determined that the Teacher’s professional competence fell below the standards expected of a fully registered teacher in terms of 2.1.3, 2.3,1, 3.1.5 and 3.4.2, and in light of the Teacher’s admissions with regard to 3.1.1, 3.1.3 and 3.1.4, the Panel went on to determine whether her fitness to teach is currently impaired or she is unfit to teach. The Panel reminded itself that this was a matter for its professional judgement and was not something that had to be proved. The Panel had regard to the GTC Scotland Professional Competence Cases Practice Statement. It bore in mind its duty to apply fitness to teach tests to the Teacher currently.

The Panel first considered whether the shortfalls in performance identified at Stage 1 are remediable, whether they have been remediated and whether there is a likelihood of recurrence.

The Panel noted that the Teacher failed to maintain 7 out of 23 standards. The Panel considered it to be a relatively significant shortfall with regard to a fully registered teacher. The Panel also noted that the Teacher has not been teaching since March 2019, and therefore, she has not had the opportunity to work on improving her teaching practice in a classroom setting. The Panel, however, noted that the Teacher would be willing to undertake an online course to address areas where she had fallen short to improve her teaching, namely the Return to Teaching Course offered by the University of Edinburgh. She also provided considerable insight and stated that she would be looking to implement further steps before returning to the classroom in a teaching capacity, such

as working with a mentor who would help her to improve her teaching practice, and working as an assistant voluntarily shadowing another teacher to get back into the rhythm of the day-to-day classroom running.

Therefore, the Panel was of the view that the identified shortfalls are remediable. The Panel also noted evidence with regard to the Teacher’s health which suggested that it had improved significantly. However, as the Teacher has been out of the classroom for over 3 years now, the Panel was not satisfied that it was presented with evidence to be satisfied that the shortfalls with regard to the SFR have been fully remedied. The Teacher herself stated that she would need to take additional steps in order to improve her teaching practice. Moreover, the Panel noted with concern the Teacher’s response with regard to what strategies she would use if faced again with challenging working relationships. The Panel was of the view that this response indicated that the Teacher has not fully reflected on the matter, and this, in the Panel’s view, increased the likelihood of reoccurrence.

For those reasons, the Panel determined that the Teacher’s fitness to teach was currently impaired.

Having determined that the Teacher’s fitness to teach is impaired, the Panel then went on to make a judgement as to the extent to which the Teacher has fallen short of the standards expected. In this instance, the Panel judged that the Teacher has not fallen significantly short of the standards expected and that the public interest did not require such a finding.

Disposal

Having determined that the Teacher’s fitness to teach was currently impaired, the Panel considered its options. It noted that it had two options available to it:

  • the Teacher be subject to a conditional registration order for such period of time (which may be unlimited), and with such conditions attached, as may be specified by the  Panel provided always that she is, and continues to be, eligible for registration and that any failure to comply with such an order may permit a Panel to direct that her name be removed from the Register in line with Rule 3.8.1 (c); or
  • the Teacher’s name be removed from part or parts of the Register in line with Rule 3.8.1 (d).

The Panel noted that a conditional registration order is designed to impose specified conditions that a teacher must comply  with in order to maintain registration and continue to work in a classroom. The Panel considered this option very carefully but ultimately concluded that it could not impose a conditional registration order in this particular case as the Teacher required further time to reflect on what strategies she would need to implement if faced again with challenging working relationships in a work setting. The Panel was of the view that no measurable and workable condition could be put in place in the particular set of circumstances.

Further to this, the Panel was also of the view that the Teacher should take the opportunity to implement the steps she has outlined in her evidence in relation to improving her teaching practice before returning to the classroom in a teaching capacity given that she has failed to maintain 7 standards.

Accordingly, the Panel ordered that the Teacher is removed from the Register of teachers in line with Rule 3.8.1(d).

Once the Teacher’s name has been removed from the Register, her name remains so removed unless and until an application for re-registration is made by her and a Fitness to Teach Panel directs that the application be granted. The Panel directed that the Teacher should be prohibited from making an application for re-registration for a period of 9 months from the date of removal. The Panel was of the view that this would be a sufficient time to allow the Teacher to reflect further

on the strategies she may wish to put in place moving forward with regard to coping with difficult relationships, and implement the steps with regard to improving her teaching practice.

Right of Appeal

In accordance with Article 24 of the Public Services Reform (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Order 2011, the Teacher also has the right to appeal to the Court of Session against the decision within 28 days of the date of service of the written notice. The Teacher’s name will remain on the Register until the appeal period has expired and any appeal lodged within that period has been determined.

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