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Plea to close loophole

The absence of a legal requirement for teachers in independent schools to be registered is a loophole the General Teaching Council wants closed.

Education authorities pass on the names of teachers who have resigned or been dismissed for misconduct but the independent sector is not obliged to do so. The issue was on the agenda this week at a meeting with the Scottish Council for Independent Schools.

The GTC would like the SCIS to act as the vehicle for conveying information on all such cases. Judith Sischy, the SCIS's director, told The TES Scotland that independent schools are "very alert to the need for stringent vetting and reporting procedures for all teaching and non-teaching staff and we are happy to work with the GTC to make these as watertight as possible".

More than 90 per cent of teachers in the sector are registered, although exceptions are made for overseas teachers of foreign languages who are not eligible for registration. The SCIS advises its 72 member schools, which represent 95 per cent of the total in Scotland, that registration is "highly recommended".

Schools are also told that they should report all cases where staff are dismissed as unsuitable to work with children to the registrar of independent schools at the Scottish Office.

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