Teachers To Be Balloted On Industrial Action

Scotland's largest teaching union is to press ahead with a ballot on industrial action after expressing disappointment with a review of new qualifications.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) said the final recommendations of an expert group set up by the Scottish Government to address concerns with the new system did not go far enough.

The group was set up in January to look at ways to reduce secondary teacher workloads and stress in the wake of Curriculum for Excellence reforms.

It followed an indicative ballot by EIS in which more than 93% of members said they would be willing to take some kind of action over ''excessive and unsustainable'' workloads.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: ''Our members are clear that a significant reduction must be achieved in both the workload burden associated with the new qualifications and also the excessive level of unit assessment, which impacts on both students and staff.

''Following the Scottish Government's decision to establish the review group earlier this year, the EIS decided to suspend any move towards industrial action while the group carried out its work.

''We entered into the work of the review in good faith, and worked constructively to attempt to agree a set of measures that would alleviate teachers' concerns on workload.

''However, while some positive changes have been agreed by the group, the EIS believes that the final recommendations will not deliver the reduction in workload - particularly the workload associated with the marking of unit assessments - that our members are demanding.''

He added: ''The EIS executive has discussed the working group's recommendations and unanimously agreed that they fall far short of an acceptable solution to the issue of excessive workload.

''For this reason, the executive has now agreed to proceed with the previously postponed industrial action ballot.''

Any action would stop short of a strike but would see teachers ''working to contract'' by boycotting any additional work and assessment related to the new qualifications.


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