GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Independent Schools Registration

Covid-19 - PVG Forms

Please note that Disclosure Scotland is currently prioritising checks for those working in health and care sectors. Applications will be processed as promptly as possible, but there may be a delay. For further information, please visit the Disclosure Scotland website.

Registration deadline extended

In light of the response to Covid-19, the deadline for registration has been extended from October 2020 to June 2021.

Do I need to be registered with GTCS?

As of 1 October 2017, all teachers working in Independent Schools (including Education Through Care Establishments) are required to register with GTCS in accordance with the Registration of Independent Schools (Prescribed Person) (Scotland) Regulations 2017.

Important: we have provided a useful definition of a teacher in our FAQ section below.

I am being appointed as a teacher at a school after 1 October 2017

You are required to be GTCS registered before taking up your post. Our standard registration requirements will apply to you and the relevant information and application form can be found here.

I was employed as a teacher at my current school before 1 October 2017

You have until 1 June 2021 to obtain GTCS registration.

There are a number of registration categories available to teachers in the sector. A list of these is provided below.

I am currently employed at a school in a non-teaching role and would like to become a teacher there

If you are currently employed at a school in a non-teaching role (e.g. Teaching Assistant) you will need to meet the standard GTCS registration requirements (including holding a recognised degree and teaching qualification) before being appointed to a teaching post or taking on sole responsibility for the roles and responsibilities of a teacher. These roles and responsibilities are set out in the FAQs below under Definition of a Teacher.

Frequently Asked Questions

The new regulations cover anyone who operates in a teaching role. This does not include sports coaches, instructors or school chaplains. If you are in doubt, look at your contract of employment and reflect on whether you have the responsibilities of a teacher. Your headteacher or employer can confirm your employment basis.

Definition of a Teacher

A Teacher has sole responsibility for:

  • Planning the curriculum
  • Delivering the curriculum
  • Assessment including presentation for formal examinations
  • Reporting
  • Recording
  • Parental Engagement

A more detailed definition can be found in section 2.2. of the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) Handbook.

All teachers at independent schools should ensure that their details are up-to-date within their school. Teachers can apply now by making contact with GTCS directly. You are encouraged to apply now to allow our staff to offer the best advice, and to give you time to consider your application and any steps you may have to make to achieve Full Registration.

As of October 2017 and the enactment of the Education (Scotland) Act, you should make sure that you are eligible to be registered with GTCS.

If you don’t have the prerequisite qualifications, you should make efforts to achieve this.

You can see relevant information about the qualifications required on the following pages: 

Teachers who have obtained QTS elsewhere in the UK via completion of a structured programme of study completed on an in-service basis (e.g. the GTP of Schools Direct (Salaried Route) without PGCE) can apply for Provisional (Conditional) registration. They will be able to go on to obtain full registration after completion of a top-up programme and confirmation of satisfactory and relevant teaching service meeting our probationary service requirement. This option is not available if you obtained QTS via an Assessment Only route and you should contact us for specific advice.

We have accredited two 'top up' programmes:

The Additional Support Needs (ASN) registration category relates to teaching in the 3-18 years age range and is not subject-specific. Teachers who are currently employed as an Additional Support Needs (ASN) teacher in an Independent School and were appointed before 1 October 2017 can apply for registration in ASN.

Further information about this registration and the requirements can be found here: ASN Registration

We recommend that teachers who are delivering the curriculum aim to register in the most appropriate mainstream registration category - Primary Education or Secondary Registration (in at least one of the subject areas being delivered). However, we are aware of the need for flexibility in some cases, and teachers are advised to have a discussion with their school and decide which type of registration is most relevant and appropriate to them.

SCIS has developed the Postgraduate Diploma Teaching Qualification (Practitioner Route) with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). This is a part-time, distance-learning programme, specifically for the independent school sector, which enables you to evidence the Standard for Full Registration. Please note that this programme is not an initial teacher education programme and is not intended for those without experience of teaching. Further details appear on the UHI website.

We have accredited the IPGCE (Independent PGCE) at the University of Buckingham. Further details appear on the university's website.

Supply teachers who are working in Independent Schools are required to be registered with GTCS.

If you do not meet the eligibility requirements for Full Registration in one of our standard registration categories, you should apply for Named School Only Registration. This will allow you to teach in the school (or identified cluster of schools) where you are currently employed as a supply teacher.

If you meet the eligibility requirements for Full Registration in one of our standard registration categories we would recommend that you apply for registration in the relevant standard registration category. However, you also have the option of applying for Named School Only Registration.

If you are employed in a permanent post but are close to retirement and seeking to take up supply teaching after this at your current school (or your school's identified cluster of schools) please contact us for further information.


If you require any further advice about Independent School registration, please contact Claire Williamson, Registration Assessment Team Leader

t: 0131 314 6050