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Scots secondary teachers vote to take industrial action

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Secondary teachers in Scotland are set to take industrial action over their “excessive” workload.

Members of the country’s largest teaching union, the EIS, have voted overwhelmingly for a work to rule.

Their concerns are related to the work linked to the new school qualifications.

The work to rule will be targeted at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) – there is no suggestion of school activities being affected.

The union said it would be issuing guidance to members immediately over what they should stop doing.

Earlier this week, the Scottish government called on unions to come up with ideas for cutting the workload.

The union said members voted in favour of action by 95% to 5%.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said: “Scotland’s secondary teachers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action against the severe workload burden that has been generated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

“This ballot result reflects the frustration of Scotland’s secondary teachers over the excessive assessment demands being placed on them and their pupils, particularly around unit assessments at National 5 and Higher; and the EIS now has a very clear mandate to implement an immediate work-to-contract in relation to SQA activity.”

Mr Flanagan added: “The target of this industrial action is both SQA bureaucracy and excessive internal unit assessment, with its associated workload burden for teachers and unacceptable assessment pressures on students.

“It is not our intention that this action should impact directly on pupils, and teachers will continue to teach classes normally and to assess pupils’ work.

“We will be issuing guidance to our members advising which SQA-related activities they should withdraw co-operation from, and which activities teachers should continue to undertake as normal.”

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