As reported last week ("Discipline hearings may go as GTC struggles to cope", October 22) the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) has identified significant challenges in addressing the three-fold increase in referrals being received, following the advent of the Independent Safeguarding Authority. However, it is not the case that this may lead to the council being forced to end its regulatory work.
The rise in referrals pre-dates news of the Government's intention to abolish the GTC and several measures are already in place to help keep pace with the anticipated increase: cases where teachers make admissions may now be resolved without a full hearing; the time taken to prepare cases is being reduced and some are being prepared externally; the number of panellists trained to hear cases is being increased.
The Department for Education has made it clear that the GTC will continue to carry out its remit to uphold the standards of the teaching profession in the public interest until any legislative change.
David James, Head of professional regulation, General Teaching Council for England, Birmingham.