The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Making a referral about a teacher

Before making a referral it is important that you read our Fitness to Teach Threshold Policy

You can make a referral about a teacher using our online form.

When we receive a referral, we first check that it is something that we can and should investigate. Our Fitness to Teach Threshold Policy explains how we decide this - it is key that the allegation is of a level of seriousness that the teacher presents a risk of harm.

The length of time it takes us to decide whether we will investigate a referral can vary according to the extent and complexity of the information provided, and we typically do so within 14 days.

If we decide to investigate the referral, we plan what investigations should be carried out and take these forward. Our investigation is approached in a neutral way - we are investigating to find out what has happened, not to build a case for, or against, the teacher. Our investigations can involve asking the person who has made the referral to provide information, as well as contacting the teacher's employer or criminal justice agencies (e.g. the police or courts) for information. All information we receive is shared with the teacher concerned and he/she is given an opportunity to respond.

At the end of the investigation process, if we decide that there is sufficient evidence to prove the allegation, a Fitness to Teach Panel considers the case and decides whether to:

  • take no further action because fitness to teach is not impaired
  • issue a consent order
  • refer the case on for a full hearing.

The length of the investigation process depends on the complexity of the allegations and associated information, but investigations are usually concluded within six months.

When a case is referred on for a full hearing, we aim to have the hearing process concluded within six months. This timescale can be affected be case complexity and factors beyond our control.

To access the online Fitness to Teach referral form, please choose the referral category that applies to you from the dropdown menu below and then read and complete the form. Completed referral forms are shared with the teacher concerned.

If you are unsure whether to make a referral, or need help or support in making a referral, we would recommend that you speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau. As we are responsible for investigating and determining the outcomes in cases, it is important that we remain neutral throughout the process so we cannot provide individual guidance and support of this nature.

To access the online Fitness to Teach referral form and for more information on the referral process, please choose the referral category that applies to you from the menu below.