Sunday 1 May 2016 

The EIS has today expressed its disappointment in the final recommendations of the Working Group on Assessments and National Qualifications.

The group was established by the Scottish Government following a number of significant concerns, raised by teachers through the EIS, relating to the severe workload burden associated with the new qualifications for pupils and teachers alike.

Commenting today, 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.

"At our Annual General Meeting last year, the severe additional workload that has been generated by changes to the qualifications system was one of the main talking points for teachers from all parts of Scotland. An indicative ballot organised by the EIS last year showed overwhelming support for industrial action on this issue.”

Mr Flanagan continued, "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.”

Mr Flanagan 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 and to move towards action short of strike (work to contract) by all EIS members in the Secondary sector with a view to reducing the workload and assessment burden of SQA related matters.

"Further information on the ballot will be published shortly.”