Secondary teachers vote to work to rule

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Secondary teachers across Scotland are set to take industrial action on what they say is an excessive SQA-related workload.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, have been voting on industrial over the last three weeks and have delivered by 95 per cent to 5 per cent result in favour of a work to rule.

Their concerns are related to the work linked to the new school qualifications and while the action will be targeted at the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), there is no suggestion of school activities being affected.

Larry Flanagan, EIS general secretary 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 (SQA).

“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.

“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 cooperation from, and which activities teachers should continue to undertake as normal.”