FAQs - General Teaching Council NI

FAQs

FAQs

Can I fax or e–mail the application form to you?

We need your handwritten signature on your Application form, so unfortunately we cannot accept forms that are faxed or e–mailed. Please complete the appropriate application form and submit it to the Council at the address provided on the form.

Do I need to maintain registration if I retire from teaching?

If you are retiring and not undertaking any work (including supply), taking a career break or no longer require registration and you wish to cancel your registration you should email the Registration Team: registration@gtcni.org.uk.

Once we have received your request in writing, your record will be updated and a letter of confirmation will be sent to you. As it is a legal requirement for teachers to be on the register regardless of how many days they work in any registration year, your details will remain on the register until the end of the current registration year i.e. 31 March.

It is not possible to refund all or part of a registration fee.

If you are retired but still undertaking some supply teaching, you must maintain your registration and pay your annual registration fee.

How can I be registered and can I register online?

If you have not yet been registered you can contact the GTCNI either by e–mail or phone to request an application form. We require an original handwritten signature on the application form, so unfortunately, online registration is not currently available.

However, once you are registered you will be able to check, amend your details and renew your registration online through the MyGTCNI portal.

How do I know if I have been registered or not?

The Register of Teachers was created in April 2004 by using a transfer of relevant information from the Department of Education’s Teachers’ Branch databases.

From April 2004 teachers have been added to the Register once their eligibility to teach has been confirmed by the Department of Education. GTCNI now make an assessment of eligibility based on teaching qualifications and suitability.

If you have any doubts about whether you are registered or not search the ‘Register of Teachers’ on this website or you can contact the registration team.

How do I make a complaint about a registered teacher?

In the first instance, you should contact the school principal of the teacher in question and use the school’s complaints policy.

If you require further guidance you can also contact the employing authority, e.g. a school governing body, CCMS or Education Authority.

If you believe the matter is a child welfare/protection issue you can go directly to the PSNI or social services.

How does regulation Work?

There are four main stages involved in regulation:

Referral where an allegation, complaint or referral is received by GTCNI.

Screening to establish if the referral falls within our statutory remit and if any relevant employer processes have been completed.

Investigation where an Investigating Committee, drawn from the membership of our Regulatory Panel, will look at the available evidence and a written response from the teacher concerned and decide if a teacher has a case to answer.

A Conduct hearing where a Conduct Committee, drawn from the membership of our Regulatory Panel, will hear all of the facts relating to the case and make a decision about the allegation and whether a teacher should be removed from the Register. The teacher concerned has a right to make representations.

If an allegation of misconduct is proven or a teacher is convicted of a relevant criminal offence, and a Conduct Committee finds that the behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a teacher, the only sanction available to GTCNI is removal from the Register.

How much is the registration fee?

Those seeking registration with the GTCNI will be required to pay a fee of £44. The registration year with the Council runs from 1st April to 31st March and the annual registration retention fee is £44.

I am a substitute/supply teacher, do I need to register?

All teachers, working in grant–aided schools need to register with the GTCNI, even if you only work on a substitute / supply basis.

Should you wish to be employed as a substitute teacher you must also be registered with the Northern Ireland Substitute Teachers Register (NISTR), a free register which is maintained and operated by the Education Authority. Criminal records checks carried out by NISTR can take a minimum of 8 weeks so therefore it is advisable that you apply to register with them as early as possible. You can register with NISTR by visiting their website: www.nistr.org.uk or by contacting them on Tel 028 9056 4000 ext 4427. Please note that registration with GTCNI is required in order to join NISTR.

I am leaving the profession/taking a sabbatical – do I need to register?

If you are leaving the profession or taking a break from teaching, please keep us informed. The Education (NI) Order 1998 (amended) NI 0rder 2003, section 35 (3) states that; “An employing authority shall not employ a person as a teacher unless he is registered under this Article”.

If a teacher is in a contract of employment (whether paid or unpaid), or has taught during the registration year (even if only for 1 day) they must pay their registration fee. This applies to teachers on a career break, maternity or sick leave.

I am moving house/school – do I need to let you know?

Yes, please keep us informed of changes to your details. Changes can be made by logging onto MyGTCNI or by contacting the Registration Team.

I have only just qualified. Do I still need to pay the registration fee?

Yes, all teachers irrespective of when they qualified are required to pay the registration fee; if they will be teaching during the period 1 April to 31 March of the current registration year.

Is there a reduced fee for part–time teachers, teachers on maternity leave or supply teachers?

If you have taught or will be teaching during any part of the registration year you are required to pay the full annual registration fee. The Council has considered the subject of scaled or part–year fees, but has decided that this option is not viable because of the high administrative costs it presents, and the need to keep the fee as low as possible.

What information will I need to give you when I contact you?

To simply check whether you are registered or not you will need to tell us your full name, date of birth and one of the following:

Current Address
National Insurance Number, or
Teacher Reference (TR) Number

What is the difference between the role of an employer and GTCNI?

The employer (or employing authority) will be a school Board of Governors or body such as the Education Authority or CCMS. They are required to deal with any allegation of misconduct using the agreed disciplinary process as set out in the ‘Disciplinary Procedure for Teachers including Principals and Vice–Principals in Grant–Aided Schools with fully delegated Budgets’ (TNC 2016/2).

The employer also has a duty to notify GTCNI about any teacher who is dismissed, or resigns prior to dismissal, on the grounds of misconduct; and to provide GTCNI with the information it needs to carry out an investigation or any subsequent conduct hearing.

GTCNI has a duty to ensure that a registered teacher is suitable to be a member of the teaching profession in Northern Ireland. GTCNI also has a responsibility to investigate referrals and to remove a teacher from the GTCNI Register if misconduct is proven at a conduct hearing.

What is the GTCNI?

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) is a statutory, self–regulatory professional body, established by the Education (NI) Order 1998. The Council is dedicated to enhancing the status of teaching and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice. It will work in partnership to develop and sustain a broad “professional community” characterised by a culture of respect, integrity, cooperation and dialogue.

The Council’s core objectives are:

To build a broad “professional community” and enhance the status of teaching as a profession.
To provide an independent and authoritative voice for the profession on matters pertaining to teaching.
To promote and maintain the highest standards of professional conduct and practice in collaboration with key partners.

What power does GTCNI have to regulate?

GTCNI was established by the Education (NI) Order 1998 to provide a range of functions including maintaining a Register of teachers, regulating the teaching profession and providing advice to DE and employers about important professional issues including registration and professional standards.

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (Registration of Teachers) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 gives GTCNI the power to remove a teacher from the Register on the grounds of misconduct. This legislation also means individual teachers can make representations to GTCNI and that any teacher, who has been removed from the Register, has the right of appeal to the High Court.

What rights does a teacher have?

GTCNI will carry out an initial screening assessment to ensure that any complaint or allegation falls within our statutory remit and will only consider an allegation that relates to misconduct or conviction of a relevant criminal offence.

We will ensure that any teacher about whom an allegation has been made is fully informed at every step of the process.

A teacher has the right to provide written information to the Investigating Committee and to make a representation at a Conduct Committee hearing, which may include trade union or legal representation.

A decision made by a Conduct Committee to remove a teacher from the Register can be appealed to the High Court within 28 days from the date on which the decision is made.

What will the registration fee be used for?

The registration fee will be used to fund the Council’s statutory functions and obligations, which flow from the Corporate Plan 2013–2016. This includes the Council’s work to raise the status of the profession and advise on professional issues. A copy of the Corporate Plan is available on our website www.gtcni.org.uk

Who is responsible for the regulation of substitute teachers?

GTCNI is responsible for the regulation of all teachers in Northern Ireland that fall within its statutory remit, this includes substitute teachers.

It is the responsibility of the employer to deal with any allegation of misconduct using the agreed disciplinary process as set out in the ‘Disciplinary Procedure for Teachers including Principals and Vice–Principals in Grant–Aided Schools with fully delegated Budgets’ (TNC 2016/2). This includes substitute teachers.

Can I fax or e–mail the application form to you?

We need your handwritten signature on your Application form, so unfortunately we cannot accept forms that are faxed or e–mailed. Please complete the appropriate application form and submit it to the Council at the address provided on the form.

Do I need to maintain registration if I retire from teaching?

If you are retiring and not undertaking any work (including supply), taking a career break or no longer require registration and you wish to cancel your registration you should email the Registration Team: registration@gtcni.org.uk.

Once we have received your request in writing, your record will be updated and a letter of confirmation will be sent to you. As it is a legal requirement for teachers to be on the register regardless of how many days they work in any registration year, your details will remain on the register until the end of the current registration year i.e. 31 March.

It is not possible to refund all or part of a registration fee.

If you are retired but still undertaking some supply teaching, you must maintain your registration and pay your annual registration fee.

How can I be registered and can I register online?

If you have not yet been registered you can contact the GTCNI either by e–mail or phone to request an application form. We require an original handwritten signature on the application form, so unfortunately, online registration is not currently available.

However, once you are registered you will be able to check, amend your details and renew your registration online through the MyGTCNI portal.

How do I know if I have been registered or not?

The Register of Teachers was created in April 2004 by using a transfer of relevant information from the Department of Education’s Teachers’ Branch databases.

From April 2004 teachers have been added to the Register once their eligibility to teach has been confirmed by the Department of Education. GTCNI now make an assessment of eligibility based on teaching qualifications and suitability.

If you have any doubts about whether you are registered or not search the ‘Register of Teachers’ on this website or you can contact the registration team.

I am a substitute/supply teacher, do I need to register?

All teachers, working in grant–aided schools need to register with the GTCNI, even if you only work on a substitute / supply basis.

Should you wish to be employed as a substitute teacher you must also be registered with the Northern Ireland Substitute Teachers Register (NISTR), a free register which is maintained and operated by the Education Authority. Criminal records checks carried out by NISTR can take a minimum of 8 weeks so therefore it is advisable that you apply to register with them as early as possible. You can register with NISTR by visiting their website: www.nistr.org.uk or by contacting them on Tel 028 9056 4000 ext 4427. Please note that registration with GTCNI is required in order to join NISTR.

I am leaving the profession/taking a sabbatical – do I need to register?

If you are leaving the profession or taking a break from teaching, please keep us informed. The Education (NI) Order 1998 (amended) NI 0rder 2003, section 35 (3) states that; “An employing authority shall not employ a person as a teacher unless he is registered under this Article”.

If a teacher is in a contract of employment (whether paid or unpaid), or has taught during the registration year (even if only for 1 day) they must pay their registration fee. This applies to teachers on a career break, maternity or sick leave.

I am moving house/school – do I need to let you know?

Yes, please keep us informed of changes to your details. Changes can be made by logging onto MyGTCNI or by contacting the Registration Team.

What information will I need to give you when I contact you?

To simply check whether you are registered or not you will need to tell us your full name, date of birth and one of the following:

Current Address
National Insurance Number, or
Teacher Reference (TR) Number

How do I make a complaint about a registered teacher?

In the first instance, you should contact the school principal of the teacher in question and use the school’s complaints policy.

If you require further guidance you can also contact the employing authority, e.g. a school governing body, CCMS or Education Authority.

If you believe the matter is a child welfare/protection issue you can go directly to the PSNI or social services.

How does regulation Work?

There are four main stages involved in regulation:

Referral where an allegation, complaint or referral is received by GTCNI.

Screening to establish if the referral falls within our statutory remit and if any relevant employer processes have been completed.

Investigation where an Investigating Committee, drawn from the membership of our Regulatory Panel, will look at the available evidence and a written response from the teacher concerned and decide if a teacher has a case to answer.

A Conduct hearing where a Conduct Committee, drawn from the membership of our Regulatory Panel, will hear all of the facts relating to the case and make a decision about the allegation and whether a teacher should be removed from the Register. The teacher concerned has a right to make representations.

If an allegation of misconduct is proven or a teacher is convicted of a relevant criminal offence, and a Conduct Committee finds that the behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a teacher, the only sanction available to GTCNI is removal from the Register.

What is the difference between the role of an employer and GTCNI?

The employer (or employing authority) will be a school Board of Governors or body such as the Education Authority or CCMS. They are required to deal with any allegation of misconduct using the agreed disciplinary process as set out in the ‘Disciplinary Procedure for Teachers including Principals and Vice–Principals in Grant–Aided Schools with fully delegated Budgets’ (TNC 2016/2).

The employer also has a duty to notify GTCNI about any teacher who is dismissed, or resigns prior to dismissal, on the grounds of misconduct; and to provide GTCNI with the information it needs to carry out an investigation or any subsequent conduct hearing.

GTCNI has a duty to ensure that a registered teacher is suitable to be a member of the teaching profession in Northern Ireland. GTCNI also has a responsibility to investigate referrals and to remove a teacher from the GTCNI Register if misconduct is proven at a conduct hearing.

What power does GTCNI have to regulate?

GTCNI was established by the Education (NI) Order 1998 to provide a range of functions including maintaining a Register of teachers, regulating the teaching profession and providing advice to DE and employers about important professional issues including registration and professional standards.

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (Registration of Teachers) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 gives GTCNI the power to remove a teacher from the Register on the grounds of misconduct. This legislation also means individual teachers can make representations to GTCNI and that any teacher, who has been removed from the Register, has the right of appeal to the High Court.

What rights does a teacher have?

GTCNI will carry out an initial screening assessment to ensure that any complaint or allegation falls within our statutory remit and will only consider an allegation that relates to misconduct or conviction of a relevant criminal offence.

We will ensure that any teacher about whom an allegation has been made is fully informed at every step of the process.

A teacher has the right to provide written information to the Investigating Committee and to make a representation at a Conduct Committee hearing, which may include trade union or legal representation.

A decision made by a Conduct Committee to remove a teacher from the Register can be appealed to the High Court within 28 days from the date on which the decision is made.

Who is responsible for the regulation of substitute teachers?

GTCNI is responsible for the regulation of all teachers in Northern Ireland that fall within its statutory remit, this includes substitute teachers.

It is the responsibility of the employer to deal with any allegation of misconduct using the agreed disciplinary process as set out in the ‘Disciplinary Procedure for Teachers including Principals and Vice–Principals in Grant–Aided Schools with fully delegated Budgets’ (TNC 2016/2). This includes substitute teachers.

How much is the registration fee?

Those seeking registration with the GTCNI will be required to pay a fee of £44. The registration year with the Council runs from 1st April to 31st March and the annual registration retention fee is £44.

I have only just qualified. Do I still need to pay the registration fee?

Yes, all teachers irrespective of when they qualified are required to pay the registration fee; if they will be teaching during the period 1 April to 31 March of the current registration year.

Is there a reduced fee for part–time teachers, teachers on maternity leave or supply teachers?

If you have taught or will be teaching during any part of the registration year you are required to pay the full annual registration fee. The Council has considered the subject of scaled or part–year fees, but has decided that this option is not viable because of the high administrative costs it presents, and the need to keep the fee as low as possible.

What will the registration fee be used for?

The registration fee will be used to fund the Council’s statutory functions and obligations, which flow from the Corporate Plan 2013–2016. This includes the Council’s work to raise the status of the profession and advise on professional issues. A copy of the Corporate Plan is available on our website www.gtcni.org.uk

What is the GTCNI?

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) is a statutory, self–regulatory professional body, established by the Education (NI) Order 1998. The Council is dedicated to enhancing the status of teaching and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice. It will work in partnership to develop and sustain a broad “professional community” characterised by a culture of respect, integrity, cooperation and dialogue.

The Council’s core objectives are:

To build a broad “professional community” and enhance the status of teaching as a profession.
To provide an independent and authoritative voice for the profession on matters pertaining to teaching.
To promote and maintain the highest standards of professional conduct and practice in collaboration with key partners.
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