The routes to becoming a qualified school teacher are set out in the School Teachers' Qualifications (Wales) Regulations 2012, which are made under section 132 of the Education Act 2002. There is a requirement for newly qualified teachers in Wales to complete a period of statutory induction as set out in the Education (Induction Arrangements for School Teachers) (Wales) Regulations 2005.
A qualified school teacher must be registered with the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) to be able to teach in a maintained school in Wales.
The Education (Wales) Act 2014 provides for the reform of the GTCW and for the name GTCW to be changed to the Education Workforce Council (EWC). These changes will take effect by way of subordinate legislation and it is anticipated that this change will occur from April 2015. The EWC will continue to deal with the registration of school teachers. In order to become registered, teachers have to satisfy a number of specified requirements including suitability. Further requirements include that a teacher cannot be subject to a disciplinary order made by the GTCW or EWC and cannot be barred from activities relating to children as regulated by section 3(2) of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006.
The Education Workforce Council’s main functions are:
(a) to provide advice on matters related to the persons which it regulates and in relation to teaching and learning
(b) to undertake activities to promote careers in registrable professions
(c) to establish and maintain a register of teachers and learning support workers in schools and further education workers in Wales.
(d) to keep itself informed about the induction of persons and to hear appeals in relation to induction decisions
(e) to review and revise the code published by the Welsh Ministers which specifies standards of professional conduct and practice for registered persons
(f) to investigate unacceptable professional conduct and professional incompetence and take appropriate action in respect of registered persons, including making suspension orders or prohibition orders thus removing workers from the register.
(g) to hold such information about persons as may be specified and to provide information to such bodies as may be specified
Other education professionals
Education professionals other than school teachers are not currently required to register with a regulatory body. They are not required to hold specific qualifications in the same way that school teachers are. The Education (Wales) Act 2014 empowers the Welsh Ministers to introduce registration and other requirements on the following members of the wider education workforce in the future:
Further education teachers
The Welsh Ministers can legislate by regulations that education may not be provided by a person in or for a further education institution in Wales unless the person has a specified qualification, and is registered with the EWC in the category of further education teachers. The Welsh Ministers also have the power to specify conditions to be complied with by or in respect of a person providing education in or for a further education institution in Wales.
Further education learning support workers
The Welsh Ministers can legislate by regulations that a person may not (directly or indirectly) provide learning support services (e.g. enabling or assisting a learner to participate in education) unless the person satisfies any specified requirements, and is registered in the category of further education learning support worker .
The Welsh Ministers can also in the future require the worker to have a specified qualification or experience or to complete a course or training.
School learning support worker
The Welsh Ministers can also legislate by regulations that a person may not (directly or indirectly) provide learning support services (e.g. enabling or assisting a learner to participate in education) unless the person satisfies any specified requirements, and is registered in the category of school learning support worker.
Workers in independent schools and other categories in the education workforce
Workers in independent schools are not required to register with the EWC. There is a power in the Education (Wales) Act 2014 for the Welsh Ministers to add workers from other categories (including workers at independent schools) to the list of workers required to register in the future.