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Police caution- been referred to GTC.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jsmith45, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Hi
    Sorry to post this in two places (it is in pay and employment too) but I am very worried and need informed advice!
    I am an experienced teacher. I was given a police caution 5 months ago for 'Common Assault'. This was an argument with my (soon to be ex) partner, pushing and shoving and shouting. The neighbours called the police and I accepted the caution at the station.
    Now I have had a letter saying it has been referred to the GTC. What is the likely outcome- I have never been in any trouble with the police before or since, my ex has offered to write a letter of support. Will my school be informed? And what are the GTC likely to do?

  2. Hi
    Sorry to post this in two places (it is in pay and employment too) but I am very worried and need informed advice!
    I am an experienced teacher. I was given a police caution 5 months ago for 'Common Assault'. This was an argument with my (soon to be ex) partner, pushing and shoving and shouting. The neighbours called the police and I accepted the caution at the station.
    Now I have had a letter saying it has been referred to the GTC. What is the likely outcome- I have never been in any trouble with the police before or since, my ex has offered to write a letter of support. Will my school be informed? And what are the GTC likely to do?
  3. Since the GTC's sole reason for existing (and charging us all an annual fee) is to put people like you on trial, I'd be a bit worried in your situation.
  4. "Will my school be informed?"

    Didn't you inform your school at the time?
  5. Not so much worried as terrified to be honest. Obviously the caution has nothing to do with children or school and is a one off.

    It must have happened to other teachers as well - just hoping someone is about to come on and say everything will be fine!
  6. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    I'm sure context would be taken into account - particularly since your ex supports you
  7. No I did not inform them. The police told me there was no need to- "It is not a conviction, you will be out of here in an hour and it's all behind you"

    With hindsight I should never have took the caution but it is too late now.
  8. I thought it was convictions the GTC was informed of not cautions.
  9. Who has informed them?
  10. The DCSF have informed them.
  11. Perhaps not

    "Section 2
    Conviction of a relevant offence
    The Council may also take disciplinary action where aregistered teacher has been convicted of a relevant criminaloffence or has accepted a caution in relation to such an offence"

    Possible proceedure

    "?Reprimand, which remains on the Register for two years;
    Conditional Registration Order, which applies conditions to ateacher?s continuing registration;
    ? Suspension Order, suspending the teacher?s registration for upto two years; or
    ? Prohibition Order, which allows the teacher to apply for therestoration of their eligibility to register within a period of notless than two years or such other period as may be specified,including an unlimited time."
  12. The GTC will drum you out of the profession, that is their role, it's not meant to be, but as nobody not even themselves knows what they are supposed to do they punish people twice, even for 'offences' as minor as yours! I guess they have to earn their over bloated salaries for their unelected fat cat positions in a quango that nobody asked for or wants!

    As an employment solicitor said to me the other night "Why on earth anyone stays in the teaching profession or joins up is beyond me!"

    Good luck, fingers crossed for you!
  13. Thanks for the advice, I will seek a solicitors advice as soon as possible. It is very worrying, obviously I regret the incident but I do feel the threat of losing my job is way over the top. The caution was supposed to be the punishment! Espcially as it had nothing to do with children or school life.
    Looking at the GTC website they do often hear cases of a similar nature regarding cautions, usually with repeat offenses though. Hopefully my previously clean record and the nature of the caution will be enough to keep my job safe.
  14. So, who informed the DCFS?
  15. I am so glad that you had the guts to post this, jsmith, I am in a very similar situation myself, and could also do with some insight or advice.

    My situation is almost identical to yours. Very similar situation with an ex-partner a couple of years back (heated arguement, pushing and shoving etc and me striking out in self defence at one point)led to me spending a night in a cell and going home having signed for a caution which was for Common Assault and also Harrassment (the latter charger relating to me entering my own home, in which he was living and I was not at the time having been driven out by him in fear of my life and sanity, to collect some stuff.)

    Like you probably did, I signed for the caution just to get out of the police station and back 'home'.

    Where things differ slightly is that I work on a supply basis. I carried on working and do not know whether my agency know of my caution or not (I didn't tell them and don't think they have done a CRB on me since), but if they do know, it bas certainly never stopped me from working for them.

    I seem to have managed to have avoided the GTC so far, having never signed up and this never having been an issue.

    However, I have now moved into a new area, and have recently signed up with a number of schools to work direct, and with a new agency. As part of this process, I have had to apply for a new, up-to-date CRB checks; one for the schools direct, and one for the agency.

    The schools checked me on the computerised system for list 99 clearance, which obviously came through immediately, and I have been working in all three of them since, while the CRB was being processed. After 10 weeks or so of me working in these schoos, my CRB arrived back, with the caution clearly recorded, and the school who instigated the check have written to me to say that they cannot use me for supply again until the incident on my CRB has been discussed between myself, the head and governors. Although, due to the nature of the incident itself, it's something I would rather forget, I can understand the school's concerns and am prepared to discuss the incident with them, if this will prove my suitability to work and mean that they can still offer me supply.

    The other two schools however (they are all in the same LEA, so one school instigates the CRB and communicates the others that they have, rather than they all run their own check), have continued to use and book me for future supply days, and they have not mentioned the matter.
    I'm not sure if they have been contacted by the first school and been informed of the CRB result or not, and if so if they are not fussed about it (as I have done quite a few days' work in both of these schools by now so wondering if maybe I have just got my face known and they are happy that they know me well enough to employ me), or whether they just haven't been made aware of the result... yet. I must admit that I am also expecting daily to hear that these schools also can't use me for supply, due to my CRB result.

    The CRB form sent off by my new agency is also due to arrive back any day, and obviously is going to state my caution. The agency too seem to have been happy to employ me on the basis of my list 99 clearance alone, but I am nervous that when they get the resultsof the CRB back, that they will instantly strike me off the books. I am at the moment trying to do as many days as possible for them in the hope that I can build up a good record with them and build their confidence in me before the CRB arrives back, and that this may carry a bit of weight.

    I'm a bit in the dark here, and I'm sorry that I have rather hijacked your thread, it is just good to be able to share my concerns and to know that I am not the only one in this position.

    My main concerns here are really what the reactions of the schools / agencies will be to finding out about the caution. Obviously, as with yourself, the offence does not in any way relate to children. What I really want to know is whether it is at the discretion of the schools / agencies to allow somebody with a record to carry on teaching in their school, or if having a caution for assault automatically means that you will not be allowed to teach?

    Also, I don't know if this applies to you, but I was led to believe at the police station that my caution was valid for a period of 3 years (in which case, as of April, my record will again be clean), but opinion varies, and I have heard that if you are a teacher, a caution never vanishes from your record, and on an enhanced CRB it will stay there for ever, others say 10 years etc. Does anybody know they definitive line on this?

    Once again, jsmith, I'm sorry to have hijacked and I wish you the best of luck in sorting your own situation. If you or anyone is able to give me some advice too, I would be grateful, and please keep us posted as to how your own situation progresses.

  16. No problem with the hijacking!

    The police assured me the caution would not remain on record once 5 years was up. I signed it to just get out of there- having never been in trouble with the police before, the time I spent in the cells was enough to make me sign anything!

    I have since found out that this was not true- the caution will never be spent as regards teaching- the cautions will remain on our CRB's forever, due to the nature of teaching.

    As I understand it now, it is discretionary whether a school hires someone with these types of convictions and is considered on a case by case basis. Obviously it puts you at a disadvantage- the very phrase 'Common Assault" is going to put off most employers. It is good that you have had chance to build a relationship with your schools, that should help greatly.
  17. I have a cautioned because i was accused of assaulting a child at school who had kicked hit and bitten me. I did not assault him just carried out my team teach training to escort him from 1 place to another. I was told it will be on my crb for ever and when i went to child protection training for designated person the head there said they would not even interview someone if there was something disclosed on it.
    Even though I was cautioned i did not sign anything and the authorith investigation was inconclusive when they got the report from the police but it will still be on my crb
  18. Thank you so much for your very positive and encouraging reply, jsmith.

    Our situations seem so similar that it is uncanny. Like you, I have never been in any trouble with the police before or since this incident. Ironically, the police were called on my behalf for my own safety by a friend (I had a coded word keyed into my phone ready to text him in case of an emergency), when the police did arrive, my ex turned the tables on me and I was carted off to the station, despite the fact that I had the black eye.

    I signed for the caution precisely to get out of the police station after being there overnight, and was assured by them that it would stay on my record for 3 years. But I have since found contrary opinion that as a teacher, it remains on your CRB for life, which you have confirmed.

    I agree that the phrase Common Assault would instantly put off many employers who see the form and don't know the circumstances - I must admit myself that when I saw it I was shocked as it doesn't look very good. But I am comforted that, having had the chance to get to know me a bit, and if necessary, to hear my side of the story, they will be able to exercise their discretion as to whether to employ me or not, (hopefully they still will, though I fear that the agency will be more ruthless.)

    Unfortunately, the permanant nature of the caution means that I shall probably have to spend the rest of my career explaining again and again with each new employer an incident which I would far rather forget than discuss, and forever be haunted by an unfortunate episode in the past that I simply want to move on from. Had I known that the caution would stay on my teaching record forever, (and not just for 3 years as I was led to believe), I would have thought twice before signing for it, as I'm sure you would too.

    Please let us know how you get on with the solictor, and best of luck with everything. Thank you again for your support.

  19. inq


    A local teacher has been in our local evening paper for having had a drink-driving conviction a couple of years ago that he didn't inform the school about. SOmeone kindly told GTC who have waited a while, held a 'trial' and said he can still teach but is 'on probation' for 2 years. This in itself is fine but the GTC always informs the local press - be warned.
    The teacher concerned works at the same school as my OH - the teacher involved discovered the press knew when they phoned him to check the accuracy of the argument.
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter


    I can give you a HT's perspective, but cannot obviously speak on behalf of all HT's and certainly not for the GTCE.

    The first thing I believe that you should do is to arrange a meeting with your HT and take with you either a union representative or a supportive colleague (known as a McKenzie Friend - just Google it).

    At that meeting make the HT aware of everything which has happened, from the time of the assault to the current date. It is far better that the HT hears of this incident from you rather than from the LA, the DCSF or the GTCE.

    To be honest, I suspect that the response may be less favourable if you are male than if you are female. Such is life. However, the issue does not involve choldren and so I can see that the HT will have no cause to question your ability to work with minors.

    If your ex can write a generalised letter of support it will help when you attend the GTCE hearing. However, you really do need to either solicit the help of your union's legal department or an independent solicitor, who will support you through the process.

    To be honest, I can see of no reason why the GTCE should need to put any prohibition or suspension penalty on you. They are not fully aware of the circumstances which led up to the alleged assault and I doubt that they would want to set any sort of precident. It is not as if you were charged with theft, etc. If they decide to give you a reprimand, then so be it.

    However, I doubt that they will.

    From a HT's point of view, it would be of little importance, provided you were up-front with me about the issue and can explain what you did and why. I have employed individuals with more serious issues on their CRB history and, provided it is unlikely to affect the children or their ability to teach in any way, then I have noted it and nothing more. Why, for example, should an individual be prevented from teaching just because they have a CCJ because they ran short and could not pay their rent?

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