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The International Teaching Safeguarding Loophole

When it comes to safeguarding children in education, it is essential to identify all possible gaps in the process that could lead to potential risks. One significant gap that needs to be addressed is the issue of pending Teacher Regulatory Agency (TRA) hearings, which could leave a gap in which a teacher could move abroad without their eligibility to teach being assessed.

A pending TRA hearing refers to a situation in which a teacher is under investigation by the TRA, and a hearing is pending to determine whether the teacher should be prohibited from teaching or not. In such cases, there may be a delay in the hearing, which could create a gap in the safeguarding process.

If a teacher is under investigation by the TRA and is awaiting a hearing, they may choose to move abroad to continue teaching, as there is no legal requirement for them to disclose the ongoing investigation to their new employer. This means that they could potentially teach in another country without their eligibility to teach being assessed, even though they are under investigation by the TRA.

The gap in safeguarding arises when such a teacher returns to the UK, as they may have been teaching abroad without their eligibility to teach being assessed. Even if they have a DBS check, it would not necessarily reveal their TRA investigation status, and this could create a potential risk to children's safety.

To address this gap, it is crucial that overseas schools and colleges work closely with the TRA to ensure that teachers who are under investigation and awaiting hearings are identified and their eligibility to teach is assessed.

This could potentially put children at risk when such teachers move abroad. To address this gap, schools and colleges need to ensure that any pending investigations are identified, and the appropriate safeguarding measures are taken to protect the safety and well-being of children in education.

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