Local authorities are not the best judge of a teacher's competence because they are an interested party, the General Teaching Council declared this week.
At its meeting in Falkirk on Wednesday, the council confirmed its wish to monitor teacher appraisal schemes and to have new powers to strike incompetent teachers from the register. But it stresses that a new GTC committee with a majority of teachers should judge cases of "professional incompetence". There would be a right of appeal to a different GTC group.
Outlining detailed plans for toughening its quality control system for the first time, the council said that appraisal's primary purpose "should be to improve teacher performance and not to identify incompetence. The scheme should not be seen to be directly linked with the removal of incompetent teachers from the register."
The scene is now set for a battle with education authority employers which fear a dilution of their powers. Ministers have yet to reach a decision on their manifesto commitment to extend the council's powers over teachers' career development and to establish "speedy but fair procedures to remove teachers unsuited to the job".
The council says the education authority "is not in the best position to adjudicate in cases of alleged professional incompetence, since the reason for the allegation of incompetence may be that insufficient support has been provided by the authority or the school".