Ballot for Industrial Action to Begin

SSTA National Executive has set the date for the start of the formal postal ballot for Industrial Action on reducing Teacher Workload. The Ballot will commence on the 14 September and close on 30 September.

Seamus Searson, SSTA General Secretary said “the National Executive is very much aware of the efforts of the Deputy First Minister to address Teacher Workload and promote Teacher Professional Judgement but Teacher Workload needs to be reduced in the current session”.

“The SSTA wishes to acknowledge and welcome the Deputy First Minister’s determination to declutter the work of teachers and allow them to focus on teaching and learning in our battle of ‘closing the attainment gap’. However, The SSTA view is that teacher workload has and is unlikely to be significantly reduced in the current session, especially in the area of national qualifications and therefore, a formal ballot is necessary to protect its members”.

Seamus Searson added “the SSTA asks for the intervention of the Minister to work with Local Authorities the Employers and SQA to refocus teachers on teaching and learning asks for urgent action to tackle excessive teacher workload"

Euan Duncan, SSTA President said “Much of a teacher’s time is now taken up with SQA assessments and verification of assessments within their school and local area. Should any teacher decide to keep their working week within the ‘working time agreement’, the reality is that they would be unable to develop the necessary resources for learning and teaching”.


Editor’s note

The SSTA completed an Indicative Ballot of its members, prior to the summer recess, to assess the measures proposed by the Government to reduce teacher workload with a focus on the assessment required for National Qualifications. This was in response to SSTA members across Scotland asking for some action to be taken to address the workload that is demoralising teachers in the current qualification cycle.

The ballot showed that members were unhappy with the proposals with 91% of respondents prepared take industrial action short of strike action. 64% are prepared to take strike action if necessary.

The ballot found that

The Government’s ‘Tackling Bureaucracy Report – March 2015’ had not reduced workload in 96% of schools.

96% of respondents lacked confidence in the proposed SQA measures to reduce workload in the 2016-17 session.

94% of respondents lacked confidence in the proposed SQA measures to reduce workload in the future.


Further information from

Seamus Searson
General Secretary

0131 313 7300