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Gove warned that axing GTC could see incompetent staff sneak across border

The abolition of the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) could leave incompetent or banned members of the profession free to cross borders and work in Welsh and Scottish schools, experts have been warned.

The chief executives of the General Teaching Councils for Wales (GTCW) and Scotland (GTCS) have called on the Westminster Government to clear up "significant" practical issues caused by the demise of England's regulatory body, which is planned for next year.

Education Secretary Michael Gove announced his decision to abolish the GTC in his first month in office. But there are still no details of what will replace it and the other nations in the UK want to know what safeguards there will be to prevent teachers escaping punishment.

Tony Finn, chief executive of the GTCS, has now written to Mr Gove, alerting him to the prospect of "significant communication gaps across the UK which may be difficult to address".

He wants to meet Department for Education officials "to consider what steps can be taken to ensure that teachers who are guilty of misconduct, deemed incompetent or are listed as unsuitable to work with children cannot easily cross from one jurisdiction to another once the GTC is abolished".

Gary Brace, chief executive of the GTCW, has also attacked the "uncertainty" about what will replace the GTC. "We would be grateful if the Government gave consideration to the extent of teacher mobility in the UK," he said. "There has got to be a plan for this in order to protect pupils."

A DfE spokesman said: "We are in touch with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will consult them as options are developed."

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