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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
Teachers plan exam boycott vote
Exam sign
Teachers are worried by Higher Still
Scottish teachers will vote this week on moves to boycott parts of the controversial Higher Still qualification.

The country's largest teaching union, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), will debate Higher Still's internal assessments at its annual conference.

Some members want to refuse to co-operate with class tests on the grounds that they amount to a substantial increase in teachers' workloads and cut back teaching time.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the EIS, said: "There is a motion on the order paper to do with a boycott of internal assessments for Higher Still.

EIS banner
The boycott will be debated at the EIS conference
"All our delegates will have a free vote after the issue is debated on Friday."

He refused to speculate on the ballot's outcome, but said the union was concerned with teachers' workloads and was awaiting the results of a review of Higher Still which is due to be completed by the end of the month.

Mr Smith added: "The outcome we are looking for is a radical reduction of internal assessment."

Under the new system, pupils must sit three end-of-unit assessments, all of which are marked internally, during the course of the school year before sitting a final exam in the summer.

This compares to the old Higher system when the only assessment was an end-of-year exam.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said: "Ministers will not make any decisions until they have carefully considered this report."

The three-day conference starts on Thursday.

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See also:

19 Apr 01 | Scotland
Exams task force set up
15 Aug 00 | Scotland
EIS seeks Higher Still review
21 Nov 98 | Education
Union confirms exam reforms boycott
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