Make a referral as a member of the public

Concerns about a teacher or college lecturer’s competence

If you have concerns about a teacher or college lecturer’s competence please raise this with the school, local authority or college.  We can only consider such concerns through an employer referral.  

Most concerns can be resolved by employers and do not need to come to us.  

If, following an employers’ investigation, you believe that a serious concern about the teacher’s fitness to teach has not been properly or appropriately investigated by the employer, you can make a referral.  

Concerns about a teacher or college lecturer’s conduct

If you have concerns about a teacher or college lecturer’s conduct raise this in the first instance with their employer.  If there is no employer and you consider that the behaviour meets our threshold for investigation, please fill out the referral form. See this section for information on how we investigate conduct referrals.  

Before making a referral  

If you are looking for advice on whether to make a referral, speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau. We must remain neutral throughout the process so we cannot provide individual guidance and support.  

Check that the teacher is registered with us using Search the Register. We cannot investigate an allegation against a teacher that is not registered with us.  

We do not investigate referrals:   

  • on health grounds   
  • made anonymously where the matter raised cannot be verified   
  • made by a person who does not cooperate with our procedures   
  • made anonymously where we cannot identify the teacher or college lecturer from the information supplied   
  • that we have received and considered before. If the referral contains new information, we may re-consider.    

Before making a referral ask yourself:  

Have I raised the matter with the teacher or college lecturer concerned and the headteacher of the school or principal of the college?  
Have I raised the matter with the employer?  
Has the school, college or employer carried out an investigation? If so, what was the outcome of that investigation?  
Have I raised a complaint with the employer and have I escalated this through each stage of that process, including to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman? 
Have I read GTC Scotland’s Threshold Policy to see if the matter is “of a level of seriousness that it raises a concern that the teacher presents a risk to children and young people”. 

Advice on making a referral

Can I submit an anonymous referral? 

Yes. However, if you choose to remain anonymous and there is not enough information to progress the referral, we may close the case. Also, if we progress the case, we will not be able to contact you with updates.  

Can I refer a teacher regarding their competence? 

No. Please take concerns about a teacher or college lecturer’s competence to the teacher/college lecturer and their employer.  

What is competence? 

Competence is a teacher’s knowledge, skills and ability to teach.  

GTC Scotland must ensure that registered teachers meet the expected standard of professional competence and are fit to teach.  

The Standard for Full Registration outlines the standard of professional competence expected of teachers who hold Full Registration. This must be read in conjunction with our Framework on Teacher Competence.  

Will the teacher or college lecturer see what I have said in my referral? 

Yes, the teacher or college lecturer has a legal right to have sight of any information provided to us in a referral or gathered during an investigation. They may also submit a subject access request to access personal information that we hold about them.  

Can I withdraw my referral? 

No. Once you have made a referral we must consider if an investigation is required.  

© The General Teaching Council for Scotland - Registered Scottish Charity No. SC006187