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Publication -

Registration of independent schools in Scotland: guidance

Published: 25 Nov 2014

Guidance notes for proprietors of new and existing independent schools.

57 page PDF


57 page PDF


Registration of independent schools in Scotland: guidance

57 page PDF



Teachers' Conditions of Service

103. When proprietors employ teaching staff, they should satisfy themselves that such staff are competent to teach the areas of the curriculum they are employed to teach, at a level appropriate to the age and need of the pupils. There is no statutory requirement that independent schools employ registered teachers (i.e. teachers who are registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland). However, many schools do operate a policy of employing only registered teachers.

104. The salaries and related conditions of service are matters for agreement between school proprietors and members of staff. However proprietors may find it helpful to look at the salaries and terms and conditions of service agreed for teachers in education authority schools through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).  The SNCT Handbook of Conditions of Service is available at

105. Proprietors may also want to be aware of new circulars issued by the SNCT, copies of which can also be found within the Handbook.

106. Part IV of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 also deals with other matters relating to the employment of teachers in the education authority sector and may be of interest to proprietors of independent schools.

107. If proprietors wish to find out about the Scottish Teachers Superannuation Scheme they may be interested in the booklet "The Teachers Superannuation Scheme Employers Guide and Instructions" which deals with the responsibilities of employers. It is available from the Scottish Public Pensions Agency, 7 Tweedside Park, Tweedbank, Galashiels, TD1 3TE, telephone 01896 893 000 or at

Non teaching Staff

108. The employment of non-teaching staff should be approached with the same care as for teachers. It is extremely important that suitability of non-teaching staff, particularly where those staff have substantial access to pupils, should be investigated before they are appointed.

Disclosure Scotland Checks on staff

109. Proprietors should confirm that all prospective teachers and all other persons doing regulated work as defined in the 2007 Act have been successful in their application to join the PVG Scheme, both when a proprietor first applies to register a school, and for any teachers and others who subsequently join the staff of the school. There are also other duties and requirements, under the 2007 Act that apply to proprietors.

110. Proprietors should make themselves aware of the 2007 Act and the Scottish Statutory Instruments made under that Act. We strongly recommend that they obtain a copy of the Scottish Government's publication: "Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme: Guidance for individuals, organisations and personal employers" published in June 2010 that is available on Disclosure Scotland's website at:

111. PVG Scheme disclosure records and basic, standard and enhanced disclosures under the 1997 Act are issued by Disclosure Scotland, and information on the procedures for obtaining disclosures can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland, at P.O. Box 250, Glasgow, G51 1YU. Disclosure Scotland can also be contacted at , and on 0870 609 6006.

112. Under section 3 of the 2007 Act Independent Schools are required to refer to Ministers individuals who on the basis of a referral ground being met have been dismissed from regulated work; transferred to work that is not regulated work of the type to which the referral ground relates; or would or might have dismissed or so transferred the individual on the referral ground if the individual had not stopped doing the regulated work. The PVG Guidance at Chapter 6, referred to in paragraph 106 above, explains how referrals are made. A referral form can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland or electronically from the Disclosure Scotland home page at: by  following the link 'Employer Referral Form'. Proprietors are also asked to inform the Registrar of Independent Schools if they refer an individual to Ministers for this reason.

113. The obtaining of disclosures is only part of the process and schools should ensure that they have in place robust recruitment procedures which include the obtaining of references and if necessary medical reports in respect of potential employees.

114. Application forms for teaching posts should make it clear to those who apply that a disclosure will be required. Where a school does not use application forms for teaching posts, it is recommended that it is made clear at interview that a disclosure will be carried out on the successful candidate. Proprietors may also wish to contact the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) if it is the intention to employ a registered teacher as the GTCS have the power to de-register staff on various grounds.Top of Form