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Can A Teacher Enter a Trust Deed in Scotland?

Like many valued public sector professionals, in recent years teachers have been subject to pay growth controls while contending with a general increase in the cost of living. Unsurprisingly, for some teachers this can result in a build-up of debts that eventually become unmanageable. In this article we review whether a Scottish trust deed can be an appropriate route for a teacher to address their debts.

Our professionally qualified debt advisers have regularly provided advice to education professionals who have contacted us. Given the nature of their role within their community, it’s natural that some teachers are concerned to be sure all help and advice is provided on a confidential basis. All debt advisory firms are subject to the Data Protection Act and should act with the greatest discretion. This is very much a priority for our internal advice team.

Another concern that some teachers have raised is whether entering certain types of debt solution will create a barrier to their continued career progression. This will not usually materialise as a practical issue, though we do touch further on the nature of headteacher positions below.  

If you proceed to start a trust deed in Scotland, your details will be added to the “register of insolvencies”. This can be a particular worry for teachers as they (naturally) want their details to be kept private, not least from parents, colleagues and pupils. This online register is hosted by the Accountant in Bankruptcy; a Scottish government agency. To access the information held on this register, an individual would firstly need to know it even exists (most people do not) and then to make a proactive attempt to look up the details of a particular individual.

Will entering a Scottish trust deed stand in the way of your career as a teacher? Our internal advice team has worked with many teachers who have started and then finished a protected trust deed without experiencing any negative career consequences. Insolvency practitioner firms that we speak with report the same experience.

If you are currently a headteacher, or you may be looking for a role as headteacher in the future, protected trust deeds may well be a preferable option to sequestration (bankruptcy). As a headteacher you may be expected to sit on the Board of Governors. Being in sequestration may prevent you from sitting on the Board, yet a Scottish trust deed may well not present the same issue.

All professionals, including teachers, should check their contracts of employment to see if there is a clause preventing you from entering into a protected trust deed just to be double-sure on this point (though it will very rarely be an issue). You can also seek advice and support from your union; they will almost certainly have supported colleagues facing similar debt problems in the past to resolve the issue effectively.

Of course, trust deeds aren’t the only option to deal with personal debts in Scotland. Many teachers will find that their circumstances present a better fit for the use of sequestration, the debt arrangement scheme or an informal debt management plan. The important point is to find qualified advice so that the decisions you make are based upon professional guidance (rather than the potentially unqualified musings of a debt solution salesman).

You can find good, professional debt advice from us here at Trust-Deed.co.uk. You can also speak to highly qualified personal insolvency experts and other people using trust deeds in our resource-sharing forum. Visit the rest of our site or call our debt advice team today on 0800 0437201 or 0141 2490416.

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Wylie & Bisset Grant Thornton

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Trust-Deed.co.uk, Clyde Offices, 2nd Floor, 48 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1BP. Tel: 0141 2490416.