In December 2017, the Children, Young People and Education Committee published its report on the Teachers’ Professional Learning and Education inquiry. The report included a recommendation to the Cabinet Secretary for Education for the EWC to be given legislative powers to impose interim suspension orders.
In March 2018, the Cabinet Secretary set out in a plenary debate on the report that, in order to consider the recommendation further, she required the EWC to undertake its own consultation with practitioners and key stakeholders on the need for and use of such a power.
Legislation requires the EWC to investigate and hear cases against registered persons involving professional misconduct, incompetence or criminal offences. The consultation set out why, without it having interim suspension order powers, the EWC considers there to be a serious safeguarding risk to learners and the public.
The EWC sought views on proposals to extend its powers to include the ability to impose an interim suspension order on a registrant’s practise where their case is significantly serious (e.g. serious sexual misconduct; serious physical, emotional, mental harm; serious safeguarding concerns) and is being investigated by the police. Imposing such a short-term measure would address immediate safeguarding concerns.
The consultation which ran between 21 November 2018 and 21 December 2018 can be read here
Read the Consultation Report here