Teacher Regulation in Britain

We have represented hundreds of teachers before their regulators and preserved most of their careers.

If you are sacked or resign in the face of disciplinary action, your employer has to consider referring you to the Teaching Regulation Agency (which is part of the Department of Education) and the Disclosure and Barring Service.  In reality, many employers play safe and refer cases to both simultaneously.  You may receive a bewildering array of letters from either organisation.

As specialists in defending teachers, our expertise is in guiding you through that process and helping you to respond.  We will work with you to understand what can and can’t be achieved in your particular case and then help you to present yourself and the reality of your situation to get the best possible outcome. 

 

The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) regulates everyone employed to do teaching work in a school in England.  If they find that a teacher has been “convicted of a Relevant Offence”, is “guilty of Unacceptable Professional Conduct” or has “behaved in a manner that may bring the teaching profession into disrepute”, then they can make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education as to whether the teacher is prohibited from teaching.

The Secretary of State does not have to follow their recommendation, but if they decide to prohibit a teacher they go on to set a period after which the teacher may apply to be allowed to teach again.  The minimum period is 2 years, the maximum is for life.  The TRA’s own guidance on procedures and investigations is available here.

In Scotland and Wales the DBS scheme applies but the Teaching Regulation Agency has no remit.  Registers of teachers are maintained by the General Teaching Council for Scotland and in Wales, the Education Workforce Council.  Those organisations are both more nuanced in their approach to misconduct than their English counterpart and can impose reprimands, conditions of practice and suspension orders as well as the ultimate sanction of prohibition or “striking off”.

 

A typical TRA case timeline