THE general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association, Ann Ballinger, above, is to take early retirement on health grounds.

Margaret Smith, the current president of rthe union, said: "In her period as general secretary, at a time of constant change, Ann has been at the forefront of giving voice to the secondary view of education in Scotland."

Ms Ballinger, who was president before election to general secretary in 2009, will step down at the end of the year.

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