Thursday 7 January 2016

The EIS has welcomed today’s announcement of the establishment of a Working Group on Improving School Qualifications.

The new Group, to be chaired by Learning Minister Alasdair Allan, will explore how the bureaucracy, stress and workload related to the new qualifications can be reduced.

The EIS, recently held an indicative industrial action ballot of its Secondary members in relation to the excessive workload demands associated with the new qualifications.

Over 93% of members voting indicated that they were willing to take industrial action over qualifications workload.

Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS welcomes the establishment of the Working Group, and the fact that this group will be led by the Learning Minister, Alasdair Allan.

"The overwhelming backing from EIS members, in our consultative ballot, for industrial action on national qualifications generated workload clearly indicated that teachers are demanding changes."

He continued, "We welcome the fact that an initial report from the group is to be made by the end of March to ensure changes are made for school session 2016/17.

"Whilst this is a challenging timescale, the EIS will enter into constructive engagement with the Working Group, with the intention of reaching a workable agreement on real and lasting reductions to the bureaucracy, workload and stress associated with the new qualifications."

Mr Flanagan added, "The EIS Executive, which meets tomorrow, will discuss the establishment of the new Working Group and will also consider the next steps to be taken in light of the recent indicative ballot of our Secondary members which sent a very clear message that action needs to be taken, and quickly, to reduce the severe burden that is being placed on pupils and teachers alike by the new qualifications."