Giving a witness statement to GTC Scotland
We have asked you to give a statement as we think you may be able to provide information to help us investigate a Fitness to Teach case.
We will usually take your statement over video conferencing (Microsoft Teams). We may, however, ask to meet with you or we can take your statement over the phone if you do not have access to Microsoft Teams.
To give a statement, please find a quiet area where you will not be interrupted. No one else should be there while you are giving your statement.
You must provide us with a true and accurate account of the events to the best of your knowledge. You must not say anything that you know is untrue or inaccurate.
We will send you the first draft of your statement by email, allowing you to make any changes.
Once you have made the changes, we will check and amend the statement. We will send you a final draft and ask you to sign this by hand, scan it, and send it back to us.
Please delete or destroy draft and final copies of your statement or ensure that you store them securely. Do not show them to anyone else. Sharing your statement could seriously impact the Fitness to Teach case.
What happens next?
We will give the teacher or college lecturer and their representative, a copy of your statement to allow them to respond to the allegations.
We will also submit your statement to a Panel to consider what should happen next with the case.
The Panel may decide to proceed to a hearing. Your statement will form part of the hearing papers, which everyone involved in the hearing can read.
We may ask you to attend a hearing to give evidence. The Panel will ask you to read out your statement. We do this so the Panel can ask questions.
Frequently asked questions
We only ask for a statement when we feel it is necessary. We can apply to the Court of Session, which may authorise us to take evidence from you.
If you are a teacher or college lecturer, you should participate in a Fitness to Teach investigation when requested.
If you feel you may need someone to support you while you give your statement, please let us know in advance so that we can ensure this is appropriate.
If you need special arrangements to help you make a statement, please tell us.
You should not discuss the case with anyone. We appreciate that you may require some support from family, friends or colleagues during the process. To avoid impacting the case, we ask that you limit how much information you share.
The evidence you give must be your memory of events only. Otherwise, a Panel may view your evidence as unreliable.
Many factors impact your memory of an event. Slight differences in witness accounts of the same event are natural. The Panel will consider this.
You may have provided a statement on the same matter to other agencies including employers regulatory bodies or the police.
While these statements may form part of the evidence, we need to take a new one from you because our investigation process is separate.
Hearings are usually held in public.
Members of the public can attend, including the press.
If we do not ask you to attend, your statement will either be read out loud or be available to read during the hearing. Attendees can read it and journalists can report on it.
We will use your name at the hearing unless a Panel has decided it should be anonymised.
In exceptional circumstances, a Panel can prevent or restrict the public disclosure of any part of the hearing, including witness evidence.
We may redact (black out) parts of your statement if these details are not relevant to the hearing and should not be heard.
In most cases, we will publish the Fitness to Teach decision on our website. View past decisions here. Your evidence may be included. Your name will be anonymised in the decision.