Teachers Defence Service

Induction Appeal Legal Advice

Legal Representation in Teaching Cases in Northern Ireland Cases

Legal Representation for NI Teachers

About Us

Teachers Defence Service represents teachers in General Teaching Council of Northern Ireland (GTCNI) Professional Conduct Inquiries, and teaching law and regulation more generally.

Below we summarise the main legislative provisions relating to Teacher Inductions. The article is not an exhaustive one. On other pages we provide additional guidance on how you might prepare your defence or mitigation case for a professional conduct matter. If you would like assistance with the preparation of your induction appeal, do get in touch with us.

Failing to Meet Performance Standards

When a the decision has been made to terminate employment by the Board of Governors where a teacher has failed to meet the required performance standards for employment as a teacher the teacher may appeal the decision under Schedule 2, paragraph 5, of the Education (NI) Order 1998 and Appendix 1 of the Guidance on Procedure for Supporting Effective Teaching in Schools, TNC 2013/4.

The teacher may be accompanied at the representation and appeal stages of this procedure by a recognised Trade Union representative or a teaching colleague.

Representation Stage

Under Section 11 of the Procedure for Supporting Effective Teaching in Schools, where a sub-committee of the Board of Governors recommends that the Board of Governors proposes to make a decision that the teacher’s employment should be terminated on the grounds of capability, the teacher will be informed in writing within 10 working days of receipt of the sub-committee’s recommendation.

The teacher has the right to make representations either in writing or orally to a person or persons that the Board of Governors may appoint for the purpose, excluding those who were members of the Sub-Committee.

Following any representations, if the teacher chooses to make representations, the Board of Governors will decide whether to make a determination to dismiss. Where the Board of Governors makes a decision to dismiss it shall write to the teacher normally within 10 working days and advise of the right of appeal to the Independent Appeals Committee at the Labour Relations Agency before the Board of Governor’s notify the Employing Authority of the determination.

Appeal stage

Any appeal must be lodged within 10 working days of the date of receipt of the Board of Governors decision, setting out the grounds of appeal. A copy of this letter should also be sent to the Chairperson of the Board of Governors and to the Employing Authority.

There will be no legal or professional bodies representing the two parties at an appeal. 

The Appeals Committee consists of an Independent Chairperson appointed by the Labour Relations Agency and two panel members, one nominated by the Teachers’ Side and one nominated by the Management Side of the Teachers’ Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools). Neither member should have had a direct interest or involvement in the case. The Agency will appoint a Secretary to the Appeals Committee who shall be responsible for the setting up and operation of the Committee.

The Secretary will also invite the parties to make written submissions to the Committee, such submissions must be received no later than 10 days before the date of the hearing. The Secretary will distribute copies of the submissions to the Committee members and to the other party no later than 5 days before the date of the hearing. 

The Chairman of the Committee will determine the order of the oral presentations to the Committee.

Following the hearing, an Independent Appeal Committee may:

      1. dismiss the appeal; or
      1. uphold the appeal.

The decision of the Appeals Committee will be given in writing to both parties within 10 working days of the hearing. The outcome of the appeal will be binding for all parties.

See also our article on Teacher Induction Processes

Our Services

We can provide advice and guidance, or advocacy services (including representation at hearings), if instructed, to assist you in dealing with the GTCNI regulator or a local teaching dispute. Our fees are competitive. Give us a call on 020 3012 0402 without obligation and in strict confidence to see how we can assist you. Or, use our Contact Form.

Teachers Defence Service

Quick Links



Criminal Law

Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions of Teachers


Preparation for Regulatory Submissions and Hearings

Our Other Services

We also represent teachers in disciplinary hearings, criminal prosecutions, DBS matters, barring challenges, appeals, civil and employment law. Read More

External Link: