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News Release 17 Feb 2011

97% Of Renfrewshire primary teachers vote against council's plans for part-time education

A massive 97% of Renfrewshire primary teachers have voted against the Councilís plans to cut 2.5 hours from the teaching week for all primary pupils. 

Teachers voted in huge numbers against Renfrewshire Councilís move towards part-time education in primary schools, in an indicative industrial action ballot organised by Scotlandís largest teaching union, the EIS.

Teachers and parents are united in their condemnation of the Councilís proposals, and the ballot result gives a clear indication of the strength of feeling ahead of a protest rally scheduled for this weekend (Saturday 19 February) in Paisley.

Commenting on the result of the ballot, EIS General Secretary Ronnie Smith said, "This result shows the strength of feeling against Renfrewshire Councilís damaging proposals for part-time primary education.

"Teachers have voted in massive numbers against the Councilís cut to teaching hours, and it is clear that the Council must change course before their proposals cause significant damage to the educational experience of every primary pupil in Renfrewshire.Ē

Mr Smith added, "The Councilís dangerous proposals have united teachers, parents and other supporters of Scottish education against this damaging cut to teaching time. 

"Even the regulatory body for teaching, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, has questioned both the rationale and the legality of cutting the teaching week for primary pupils. 

"Renfrewshire Council must now listen to the parents, teachers and educational policy makers who have foreseen the damage that this financially-driven cut would cause.Ē

Mr Smith went on to add, "Renfrewshireís teachers are making a firm stand against the Councilís proposals, as evidenced by their overwhelming objection to these plans in an indicative industrial action ballot. 

"We know that both teachers and parents are determined to protect the quality of educational experience for Renfrewshireís primary pupils.  It is time for the Council to heed the warnings, and to abandon their flawed and dangerous move towards part-time education in primary schools.Ē

For more information, please contact:
Brian Cooper (Media & Communications), Tel 0131 225 6244 Mob 07974 715101

Notes for Editors:
1. 97% of Renfrewshire primary school teachers responding in the Indicative Ballot rejected the Councilís proposals and support the principal of industrial action in protest to the teaching hours cut
2. Turnout in the postal ballot was high Ė approximately 75% of those eligible to vote in the indicative industrial action ballot returned their ballot papers.
3. A formal industrial action ballot would require to be held before a programme of industrial action could be implemented.
4. A joint rally against the Councilís proposals, organised by the EIS and the Renfrewshire Parent Council Forum will be held this Saturday, 19 February, from 11am at Paisley Town Hall.  A very large turnout from parents and teachers is anticipated.

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