THE UK Government has disputed remarks by Scotland's teaching watchdog about the impact a trade bill could have on teacher standards. 

Ken Muir, the Chief Executive and Registrar of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), said the UK Internal Market Bill would mean his organisation "would seem to be expected to give full registration to teachers from any of the jurisdictions in the UK, irrespective if they are highly qualified or unqualified".

In an email to all registered professionals, the GTCS urged teachers and parents to write to their local MP to ask them to support any amendments to the Bill designed to exempt the teaching profession and teacher services from the requirements.

Mr Muir said there was concern about the standard of teaching being 'watered down' in Scotland as a result of the trade bill. 

He added: "Entry to our register is predicated on a high standard of qualification, with the 76,600 people on our register having gone through tough times in gaining a degree or equivalent and a teaching qualification, and I think many of them would be very upset if colleagues coming into their schools came in through a much less significant, less demanding route."

However the UK Government have now disputed the registration body's claims, saying they are inaccurate and incorrect. 

In a statement released this evening, a spokesman said that the body would still be able to retain and set its own standards for new teacher registrations.

He added that the Council could introduce its own checking procedure if it felt that allowing teachers from other parts of the UK to teach in Scotland automatically was not acceptable. 

The UK Government spokesman said: "Teaching standards across the UK are very important to the UK Government. The General Teaching Council of Scotland will still be able to set standards in Scotland, as it does now, and control who can teach in Scotland.

“If the Council decides that recognising teaching qualifications from other parts of the UK automatically is not appropriate, it can put in place an alternative process to check qualifications and experience, as set out in the Bill.

"This makes an exception for the teaching profession unnecessary.”