Returning to Teaching

What should you do to prepare?

Check your registration with the GTC

Teachers in Scotland are required to keep up to date with their professional learning confirming their engagement in the process with GTC Scotland (to the individual GTC and line manager). If you have failed to do this then you may have been removed from the register and need to re-register.

Teachers who are wanting to take a break from teaching but stay on the register can apply for (Association) status. You will not need to meet all the requirements of the Professional Update process but you will still will be required to update your contact details annually, maintain the appropriate Professional Values and Personal Commitment set out in the appropriate Professional Standards and finally pay the annual registration fee. However, while under Association Status, you will not be able hold positions in anything that would require a Full General GTC status including but not limited to teaching in schools or colleges. More information about General and Associate status can be found here :

If you have been removed from the register then you can apply to be reinstated through emailing with the information mentioned on their website. More information about the process can also be found through the same link.


Check Your Returning Paypoint

If you are returning to teaching you may not necessarily need to start from Point 1. If you have returned to teaching within 10 years then you should return to the original pay point. In situations where there has been gap of 10 years or more between leaving and returning to teaching service, previous service will be taken into account at the employer’s discretion (source 1.23).

Relevant experience within teaching can also go towards awarding additional pay points. The examples included within the SNCT Handbook is:

"experience which is relevant to the subject being taught – for example, an industrial chemist teaching chemistry; and more general ‘life skills’ which have a bearing on the depth or quality of teaching being offered – for example, where someone has previously been involved in aspects of children’s care or in education and training, whether in the workplace or in educational establishments." (Ref: 1.24)

For the recognised non teaching experience the additional salary points awarded are (Ref: 1.25):

1 Point: 5 Years experience
2 Points: 5 - 10 Years experience
3 Points: 10 -15 Years experience
4 Points: 15+ Years experience



Refresh Your Teaching Boots

Some local authorities will require you to take a ‘returning to teaching’ refresher course and therefore you should check with the local authority you are apply for if this is the case.

This is currently available at:

1. Returning to Teaching Course – University of Edinburgh

2. Returning to Teaching Course – University of Strathclyde


Read Up On The Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)

You should brush up your knowledge of the Curriculum for Excellence. The Curriculum for Excellence is described as a curriculum aimed on helping children and young people gain the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for life in the 21st century.

More information about the refreshed Curriculum narrative can be found here.
In addition your subject specific syllabus can be found on the SQA National Qualifications Subject Page.

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