General Teaching Council Northern Ireland

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Information for Employers

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI) is the statutory, self-regulatory professional body, established by the Education (NI) Order 1998. The Council is dedicated to enhancing the status of teaching and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice. Registration is required for all teachers, including peripatetic teachers, working in grant aided schools.
Article 35 (3) of the 1998 Order states that "an employing authority shall not employ a person unless he is registered under this Article." Prior to taking up a new post employing authorities should satisfy themselves that the teacher concerned is registered with the Council.

Definition of an employer

The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (Registration of Teachers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 define employers as:

- An Education and Library Board
- The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools
- The Board of Governors of a voluntary or a grant-maintained integrated school
- The proprietor of an independent school
- An institution within the higher education sector
- An institution within the further education sector
- An employment agency supplying teachers

Information held on the register

Initial registration information came from a transfer of details held on the Department of Education's Teachers' Branch databases, or in some specific cases, from individual school or ELB records. The data held provides accurate information about the composition of the teaching profession in Northern Ireland. This will enable the Council to speak with authority on behalf of the profession on a range of educational issues.

The information held on an individual teacher's record includes the teacher's name, school, contact address, qualifications and employment history. The Council recognises the confidential nature of the information held on the Register, and will ensure full compliance with Data Protection Legislation. Employers are urged to keep the Council informed of any changes of details relating to registered teachers in their employment, for example, changes of address, surname or school.

Checking registration status and accessing information on the register

Employers need to ensure that the teachers they are considering employing (including supply teachers and newly qualified teachers) are registered with the Council before they are employed. It is important that a check on a prospective employee's registration status is built in as a pre-employment check by employers.

Registration Status

Requests from employers and prospective employers for confirmation of registration status only, can be taken and responded to over the telephone,by fax, e-mail, in writing, or in person, subject to the employer providing enough information to fulfil the necessary record identity checks as follows:

- Teacher's Full Name and
- School Employed at or
- Date of Birth or
- National Insurance Number or
- Teacher Reference Number

Employers' Report on a registered teacher

Employers are entitled to request a detailed print-out on a registered teacher. The information that is available to employers is specified in Schedule 2 of the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (Registration of Teachers) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004.

Employers requiring a detailed print-out should make a written request, on their organisation's official paper, giving the following details:

- Teacher's Full Name and
- School Employed
- Date of Birth or
- National Insurance Number or
- Teacher Reference Number

Information supplied to employers and prospective employers is provided for specific purposes and subject to disclosure restrictions:

  • The information supplied shall not be disclosed to any other person other than the teacher or person to whom the information relates; and
  • The information is supplied under the condition that it only used for the purposes of ascertaining the suitability of a person's employment or prospective employment as a teacher.

Action required if a teacher is not registered with the GTCNI

It is possible, that an employer will be advised that an employee or prospective employee is not registered with the Council. This may be because:

1) The teacher is eligible for registration but has not yet registered. In such cases the teacher must be registered before they take up employment in grant-aided schools. Employers should inform the teacher that he/she should apply for registration with the Council.

2) The teacher is not eligible to register. Any teacher who is not eligible to register should not be employed in grant-aided schools. If the teacher believes they are eligible to register and disagrees with the record held by the Council, for example, the teacher has been granted "eligibility to teach" but the Register of Teachers indicates otherwise, the teacher should contact the Council who will investigate the matter. Once the case has been investigated, the employer and individual teacher will be notified accordingly.
A teacher may be ineligible to register with the Council for a variety of reasons and a teacher may be deregistered as a result of a Department of Education or Council restriction, or the non-payment of the annual registration fee.


For any matters concerning registration, please contact the Registration Team using any of the following:
General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland
3rd Floor
Albany House
73 - 75 Great Victoria Street
Belfast BT2 7AF
Tel: (028) 9033 3390
Email: [email protected]

Office hours are Monday to Thursday 08:30 to 16:45, Fridays 08:30 to 16:30.

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