SCOTTISH parents are submitting more formal complaints about the conduct of their children’s teachers than every before.

New figures show there were 52 complaints from the public in 2015/16 compared to 30 in 2012/13.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which investigates complaints, blamed social media and electronic communication for the rise.

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Ken Muir, chief executive of the GTCS, said: “Electronic communication is one of the factors for the rise in complaints because it does make it easier to fire off an email.

“We live in an increasingly litigious society. People are looking for some form of outcome or justice when they have a complaint, which makes them more likely to pursue a complaint with a body like ourselves now than five years ago.

“That’s not a bad thing and we are an open and transparent organisation which exists to uphold teaching standards.”

Mr Muir’s comments came just weeks after West Lothian teacher Isabelle Graham was struck off after being photographed in a Travelodge bed by a pupil following the school prom.

And last month former headteacher Gillian Rew, from Arbroath, Angus, was given a conditional registration order after consuming alcohol and behaving inappropriately on a school trip.

The GCTS has already announced that they hope to reduce the length of time cases take to three months from next year.

Currently it can take up to two years for the GTCS to decide whether a teacher should face sanction, but the body believes that is too long.

As a result they intend to make the process more flexible and enable officials to throw a case out at any stage rather than waiting for a committee decision.

They will also offer teachers the opportunity to agree to a range of outcomes without going to a full hearing from a reprimand to removal from the register.

Teaching unions called for the GTCS to speed up their decision-making procedures to make the process less “stressful” for teachers.

Drew Morrice, assistant secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “It has been a significant frustration to the union that some cases have taken many years to be processed.

“For some people the time it takes to get an outcome can be extremely stressful and many teachers experience a degree of mental breakdown during the process.”

Despite the increase in complaints from parents, and an increase in conduct complaints, the overall number of complaints fell because of a significant drop in criminal cases involving teachers.

There were a total of 325 complaints in 2015/16 compared to 646 the previous year and 566 in 2013/14.

The number of teachers being struck off as a result of conduct cases is also falling with just eight in 2015/16 compared to 16 the previous year and 11 in 2013/14.

However, conduct cases which fall short of criminal action have seen an ibcrease from 64 to 122 in three years.

Meanwhile, social media has been blamed for exams in England becoming formulaic.

Professor Robert Coe, an assessment expert from Durham University, claimed fear of a social media backlash was making examiners produce predictable exams.

He said: “The key reason is the sense of public backlash that we’ll have if we ever write an interesting exam paper.

“Exam boards will be very sensitive to this. The students will be complaining straight away.”