The General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) will be handing over its regulatory functions to the Department for Education in April 2012, from which time Mr Gove will become accountable for cases of teacher misconduct and maintaining the list of those barred. The changes were outlined in the recent Education Bill, which is currently being scrutinised by Parliamentary committee. Concerns had been raised about the lack of detail over how the government will manage the regulatory process and the amount of control the plans could give to Mr Gove over deciding the fate of teachers. The closure of the GTCE was one of the first announcements to be made by education minister Michael Gove after the election.
Now, the outgoing chief of the GTCE has sought to reassure teachers about the impending changes to professional regulation. Mr Bartley said that a policy statement tabled by schools minister Nick Gibb during a hearing of the Parliamentary scrutiny committee last month had offered “quite a deal of reassurance”.
The statement sets out the government’s intention to delegate the responsibilities for teacher regulation to the new teaching agency that was unveiled in last year’s Education White Paper. The White Paper sets out a system of filtering teacher referrals from the public, schools, police and the Independent Safeguarding Authority, and of conducting public hearings for appropriate cases. Bans will be the only sanction available to such hearings. It also promises a 12-week public consultation on the plans.
Mr Gove has said he will regulate conduct but not incompetence. Individual schools will be left to determine what is incompetent and there is no framework set, and some schools or headteachers will be unsure of what the national standard is to be required
Mr Bartley also said he was “reassured at the extent to which the expertise that rests in the GTCE is being brought in to help fashion the working processes that go on after the GTCE.” Mr Bartley’s successor as chief executive is Alan Meyrick.