Teaching and Regulation Agency: what do they do?


The regulation of the teaching profession in England is managed by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). 

Previously, it was regulated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership which was disbanded in April 2018.

The TRA investigates cases of serious teacher misconduct and decides whether to refer a case to a professional conduct panel. The panel will then investigate whether to issue a prohibition order, (whether a teacher should be banned from the classroom).

We’ve written more about the topic of professional conduct panels here. If you are an Edapt subscriber we will be able to support you throughout the process.

In this article, we provide an overview on the main responsibilities of the TRA do and what to do if you are alleged of misconduct in your role.

Teaching and Regulation Agency: what do they do?

The TRA explains:

“We take action on receipt of allegations of serious teacher misconduct, and support employers, schools and headteachers with safeguarding responsibilities. 

We provide employers with access to teacher records so they can complete pre-recruitment checks to ensure that they are employing teachers who are not prohibited from teaching and who are appropriately qualified for their role. 

We act on behalf of the Secretary of State as the competent authority for teaching in England. This role includes the recognition of the professional status of appropriately-qualified teachers from outside England and the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).”

Its main responsibilities are:

  • Maintaining a record of teachers, trainee teachers and those who hold a teacher reference number in England as a digital-by-default system to allow employers to complete pre-recruitment checks, including safeguarding checks, and provide a self-service function for teachers to access certificates
  • Issuing a teacher reference number (TRN) to all teachers undertaking initial teacher training (ITT), or early years initial teacher training (EYITT) in England and any individual whose details are added to our a record of teachers and trainee teachers
  • Awarding QTS to teachers who successfully complete ITT, and early years teacher status (EYTS) to teachers who successfully complete EYITT
  • Recording the results of mandatory induction
  • Acting on behalf of the Secretary of State as the competent authority for teaching in England
  • Holding details of teachers who have been prohibited from teaching or hold a sanction from the Secretary of State
  • operating the regulatory system for all teacher misconduct as defined by The Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012 and the Teacher Misconduct: Disciplinary procedures for the teaching profession – this includes:
    • investigating all cases of misconduct received and progressing those cases assessed to be serious enough to result in prohibition, if proven, through to hearing
    • considering and making decisions on whether an interim prohibition order should be imposed to prevent a person working whilst an investigation is carried out
    • administering the hearing process and procedures, ensuring the constitution of the professional conduct panel reflects regulation and guidelines
    • acting as decision maker on behalf of the Secretary of State to consider the professional conduct panel’s recommendation and determine whether a prohibition order is appropriate – the decision maker will also decide whether a teacher may apply for a review of the order

What should I do if I have been referred to the Teaching and Regulation Agency?

If you are an Edapt subscriber you should contact as soon as possible when you have been alleged of misconduct and we will be able to support you throughout the process.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.