Court of Session upholds GTC Scotland right to receive evidence from Police Scotland to allow it to fulfil its role in public protection
GTC Scotland welcomes the recent outcome of the Court of Session, which confirms GTC Scotland’s long-standing position that Police Scotland can and should share critical evidence with GTC Scotland. This information sharing allows GTC Scotland to carry out its statutory Fitness to Teach and public protection function as the professional regulator of teachers in Scotland.
GTC Scotland has been required to seek individual orders from the Court of Session to access information and progress Fitness to Teach cases. This approach has delayed and added costs to the progress of some of the most serious Fitness to Teach cases dealt with by GTC Scotland.
Commenting on the outcome of the decision in The General Teaching Council for Scotland (Petitioner) against The Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland (Respondent), Dr Pauline Stephen, Chief Executive and Registrar of GTC Scotland said:
“It is GTC Scotland’s role to ensure public protection by investigating fitness to teach. In the course of these investigations GTC Scotland has sought information from Police Scotland which has not been provided. This has caused difficulties and delays in GTC Scotland fulfilling its regulatory function.
“We invested considerable time, effort and cost to reach the conclusion that the Court issued on 26 October 2021; we believed it was the right thing to do in the public interest and to ensure public protection, which of course includes child protection. We are aware that the outcome will also have a positive impact on other professional regulators who found themselves in a similar position in their efforts to protect the public”.