The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) conducted 43 investigations – the highest caseload for one year – following allegations of unacceptable professional conduct, serious professional incompetence and/or for conviction of a relevant offence in 2012/13.
Of those, no further action was taken in 14 cases either because there was no case to answer or the case was discontinued. Of the remaining 29 cases, 11 staff were banned from teaching, nine were suspended, three were given a conditional registration order, five reprimanded, and in one hearing the facts were not proven.
One of the most high-profile of the cases heard by the panel was that of a primary school teacher accused of indecently assaulting pupils and a child in the community.
A Cardiff Crown Court jury cleared him of indecent assault in 2009. But a GTCW panel found the allegations against him proven and banned him from teaching for life in June 2012.
The figures were released in the GTCW’s annual report which covers the last financial year, during which time there were 37,874 teachers registered to work in Wales. Of these 1,403 were NQTs.
Commenting on the workload of the disciplinary panel, chairperson Angela Jardine said: “Although cases can receive extensive press coverage I would emphasise that the numbers involved are a tiny proportion of the nearly 38,000 registered teachers and it is testament to the high standards of the vast majority of our profession.”
Speaking about the council’s work in general Ms Jardine said that it had been “business as usual” despite the backdrop of uncertainty for the GTCW as the Welsh government considers legislation to not only change its name but also the way it works.
As well as continuing to “promote high standards of conduct and practice in our profession” she added that one of the highlights of the year was the introduction of the GTCW’s Returning to Teach scheme, which required qualified teachers who had been out of practice for at least five years to undertake 10 days of tailored professional development before being allowed to reregister.