Proposals to widen the powers of the General Teaching Council for NI (GTCNI)

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) is the independent professional body for teachers in Northern Ireland. It is dedicated to enhancing the status of teaching and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice. The Council has a statutory duty to determine who should be a member of the teaching profession in Northern Ireland.

Proposals to widen the powers of the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland and extend its remit to include the Further Education sector.

Extension of GTCNI powers

The Department for Employment and Learning and the Department of Education jointly consulted on the powers of the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).

The consultation proposed that:

  • the current legislation be repealed and new legislation be introduced to provide independent status for the Council
  • an extension of its remit to include the registration of FE lecturers as a separate, distinct staff grouping in its own right
  • the widening of its disciplinary powers to include disciplinary orders short of prohibition from teaching

The consultation ran from 8 October 2012 to 18 January 2013, and the initial consultation document is available to download by following the link:

A joint Departmental response to the Consultation, which outlines the agreed way forward taking into account the views of respondents, is also available to download via DEL's website:

An Irish language version of both the Consultation and Response documents can be found by clicking on the link below:

Serious teacher misconduct

From 1 April 2015 the Department conferred powers on the GTCNI to enable it to consider cases of serious teacher misconduct and, where appropriate, to remove a teacher from its register.  It also explains the action to be taken by schools and employing authorities to enable the GTCNI to consider such cases, DE Circular number 2015/12 General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (Registration of Teachers) (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) refers.

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