The boss of Scotland's largest teaching union has announced he will stand down in the summer.

Larry Flanagan has been general secretary at the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) for the past 10 years, having previously been an English teacher and long-time activist.

He said: “It has been an honour to serve Scotland’s teaching professionals and Scottish education as the general secretary of the EIS.

"I have sought to bring my 33 years' experience as a classroom teacher to the fore in my role as general secretary and I remain deeply convinced about the strength of our education system and the quality and professionalism of our education workforce.

"The past two years in particular, during the Covid pandemic, have been especially difficult for everyone involved in Scottish education, bringing many unexpected and unprecedented challenges for the EIS and for Scotland’s teachers and lecturers, but I believe we have responded well to those challenges.”

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Mr Flanagan served on Scotland's Covid Education Recovery Group, consistently making the case for robust safety measures to protect staff and pupils. He also highlighted the need for substantial investment in teachers and resources to support young people.

Mr Flanagan is the current President of the European Trade Union Committee for Education and will continue in this role upon his retiral as EIS general secretary. He has also retained his status as a registered teacher through regular stints in schools, leaving open a future return to the classroom as a supply teacher.

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Heather Hughes, EIS president, said: “Larry Flanagan has been a great servant to the EIS, Scotland’s teaching professionals and Scottish education throughout his career.

"He will be a great loss to the Institute and will be a very hard act to follow for his successor as general secretary.

"I wish to convey my personal thanks to Larry, and those of Scotland’s teachers, for all that he has done for the EIS over the years. We wish him all the very best for the future.”

The process of recruiting Mr Flanagan's replacement has begun, with the intention of appointing a general secretary designate to shadow him during his final months in post.