The EIS has today (Friday) confirmed that it will move to a statutory industrial action ballot in relation to the excessive assessment demands placed on teachers and pupils by the SQA.

At a meeting of the EIS Council in Edinburgh today, it was formally agreed to move ahead with the statutory ballot as soon as possible.

Commenting following the decision to proceed with a ballot, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The decision by EIS Council to move ahead with a statutory industrial action ballot is a reflection of the growing frustration within the Secondary sector over the excessive workload that has been generated by SQA assessment and verification procedures.

"These excessive demands are placing severe pressure on pupils and teachers alike, have been acknowledged by Government and Education authorities, and yet the SQA, in particular, has shown little urgency to take reasonable actions to address concerns.

"Teachers do not want to take industrial action, and have shown a great deal of patience while talks have taken place to attempt to reach a solution. Now that this process is at an end, with no firm measures agreed to ensure a significant reduction in assessment, the EIS has decided to move ahead with industrial action.”

Mr Flanagan added, "Further information and guidance on the scope of the work-to-contract will be published shortly, and all members eligible to vote will receive a postal ballot pack within the next few weeks.

"I am certain that our members will vote to support this move to action short of strike, amounting to a withdrawal of cooperation with the SQA.

"By taking collective action, through Scotland’s largest teaching union, EIS members can be successful in demanding change – as recent EIS disputes in the college sector and in West Dunbartonshire Secondary schools have clearly demonstrated.”