What to do if you receive notification an investigation from the Teaching Regulation Agency

20th September 2018 Business Crime

Over the past five years there have been around 450 teachers who have appeared before a misconduct panel and have been prohibited from teaching indefinitely. This number is miniscule in comparison to the total number of teachers in schools around the UK, which is currently at 500,000[1]. However, if as a teacher you find yourself before a professional conduct panel, facing a Prohibition Order - a lifetime ban from teaching - this would be catastrophic for your career.

It is therefore imperative that if you do find yourself subject to an investigation by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) you are aware of your rights.

Regulation of the teaching profession is managed by the TRA. They will investigate allegations of serious misconduct made against a teacher.

If the TRA decide to investigate a complaint made against you, you will be notified in writing. You will be informed of the details held to date and given the opportunity to respond to the allegation(s) in writing within four weeks.

Once a response to the allegations is received, a determination panel will consider the matter. They will decide whether there is a case to answer and whether the allegations are serious enough to potentially result in prohibition. If so, then the case will be referred to a professional conduct panel. Here, evidence will be heard from both sides before a final decision is reached.

What can we do for you?

Your initial written response to be considered by the determination panel is extremely important to your case. As soon as you receive notification of a referral you should contact a Solicitor.

At JMW our solicitors are experienced in advising and defending teachers at each stage of proceedings.

Our initial aim (where the circumstances of the case allow) when responding to the TRA will be to avoid the matter proceeding to a hearing before a panel. It is with this in mind that we will prepare your written response with you.

Our solicitors are also experienced in preparing written representations to defend applications made by the TRA for an Interim Prohibition Order, which if granted would prevent you from teaching even for the duration of the TRA investigation.

If your case is going to be heard before a panel, our solicitors are experienced in defending such cases. Even if allegations are proven, remember a Prohibition Order is not intended to punish a teacher, there are factors for the panel to consider before imposing such an Order, if at all. Our solicitors always aim to ensure the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

If you have any queries or would like to arrange a meeting with one of our solicitors then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Key contacts:

Ian Lewis, Partner

Sahar Handford, Solicitor

Catherine Gaynor, Solicitor

 

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44643267

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Sahar Handford is an Associate Solicitor located in Manchester in our Business Crime & Regulation department

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