6th April 2023
Scottish Education News

GTC Scotland clarifies role in education in Scottish Parliament Committee response

GTC Scotland has clarified its role in education in its response to the petition being considered by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee to develop an educational resource on abortion.

GTC Scotland response to Petition 1991

05 April 2023

GTC Scotland welcomes the opportunity to clarify our role in education in response to Petition 1991. 

We are the teaching profession’s independent registration and regulation body. We work to maintain and enhance trust in teaching. 

What we do

GTC Scotland was established in 1965 following calls from teachers for a body to ensure teaching standards.

Our role is to register and regulate teachers. We do this by keeping a public register and setting and upholding the high standards teachers in Scotland must meet to enter and remain in the teaching profession. 

Trust in the teaching profession is essential to an effective education system. GTC Scotland’s role is to help maintain that trust.

We do this by setting the Professional Standards for teachers as well as the entry criteria to the profession. We apply and ensure these criteria and standards are met and maintained through our registration and regulatory processes, and we ensure teachers’ commitment to ongoing learning through Professional Update.

At the heart of our work is keeping the Register of Teachers. There are over 81,000 teachers and college lecturers on our Register.

Registering and regulating the teaching profession gives us insight. We use our voice to speak up for high standards. It is high standards that help instil trust in the profession and enhance the status of the profession. 

We are independent from government. Our work is funded by the fee that teachers pay. What we do and how we are governed is set in legislation.

Belonging to the teaching profession in Scotland means being registered with GTC Scotland.

Being a teacher in Scotland

Teaching is complex relational and intellectual work. It is rooted in highly specialist knowledge and skills.

Standards and ethics are core to what it means to teach, and they underpin the profession’s system of self-regulation.

If a national educational resource is created, teachers – as trusted professionals – will critically assess its impact on their teaching in the interests of their learners.   


We do not have a role in setting resources or content in the curriculum. The organisations outlined during the Committee’s consideration are likely to be best placed to respond to this petition.

Yours sincerely

Dr Pauline Stephen

Chief Executive and Registrar

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