I am a Teacher, what happens if a complaint has been made against me?
The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) are responsible for the regulation of the teaching profession, including misconduct hearings and the maintenance of a record of teachers, trainee teachers and those who hold a teacher reference number.
The TRA will follow the process below if a referral is received.
Stage 1: On receipt of a complaint, the TRA will a) check that the referral relates to an individual who has been employed or engaged to carry out teaching work in the UK and b) that the alleged conduct is capable of amounting to unacceptable professional conduct.
If the answer to stage 1 is no, the TRA is unable to investigate. If the answer is yes, the TRA will investigate.
Stage 2: The TRA will inform the referrer, accused teacher and employer of the investigation.
Stage 3: The TRA will determine whether an Interim Prohibition Order (“IPO”) should be considered to prevent the subject of the referral from teaching until the case is concluded. The TRA will inform the teacher that they are considering making an IPO, the teacher has ten working days to respond and provide any evidence that the teacher considers will be relevant to the TRA’s decision.
Stage 4: The TRA will formulate the allegations to be put to the teacher and inform the teacher that the teacher has 28 days to submit representations and evidence. The TRA considers the evidence and will decide whether to refer the case to a professional conduct panel hearing.
If the TRA decides not to refer the case to a professional conduct panel hearing, no further action is taken.
Stage 5: Hearing. The case is referred to a professional conduct panel hearing, the teacher and referrer are informed and invited to provide any further evidence. A panel (at least three members including at least one teacher and one non-teacher) hears evidence. The panel must decide whether:
- the alleged facts have been proved and, if so,
- whether they amount to unacceptable professional conduct, conduct that may bring the teaching profession into disrepute or a conviction, at any time, of a relevant criminal offence and, if so,
- whether to recommend to the Secretary of State that a Prohibition Order should be made and, if so, whether the teacher should be permitted to apply to have the order set aside after a specified period.
Stage 6: Possible Outcomes:
- If (i) and (ii) are proven but the Secretary of State decides not to prohibit the teacher, no further action will be taken but the outcome will be published
- If (i), (ii) and (iii) are proven, the outcome is published and the teacher is added to the list of prohibited teachers kept by the TRA.
- If none of the above is proven, no action is taken and the outcome will only be published at the teacher’s request.
Stage 7: If the teacher is prohibited, they can apply to have the Prohibition Order set aside after the minimum period specified in the order.
If you have been contacted by the TRA and are under investigation, please contact our Crime & Regulatory team on 0207 632 4300 and we would be happy to discuss how we can assist.