There have been calls for local authorities to be stripped of their role in running schools as staff move closer to all-out strikes.

Tensions are continuing to ratchet up after bosses at the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association (SSTA) said an opinion survey found 80 per cent of participating members had rejected a proposed pay rise of 5%.

With cost-of-living pressures continuing to bite, they also stressed that 70% were prepared to take strike action in pursuit of a “realistic” deal.

One survey respondent said: “Removing local authority control from education, and instead running education directly from the Scottish Government, would help as it would reduce the number of cooks in the broth when it comes to pay negotiations.”

Another added: “The last pay deal was well below what was asked for and was not acceptable to a lot of members and this one is not acceptable. Members are willing to take strike action.”

The latest development mirrors a similar move at the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), the country’s largest teaching union, whose executive committee recently voted to open a consultative ballot. EIS members are being advised to reject the 5% offer from the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and support potential strikes.

READ MORE: Teachers move closer to all-out strikes

Scottish members at the NASUWT union also appear poised for walkouts after a poll found 82% of participants did not believe the current pay proposal was fair given inflation pressures.

Seamus Searson, SSTA general secretary, said: “Members have given everything in the last number of years to keep education going and to ensure that all young people did not lose out during these difficult times. Teachers are walking away from the job because of the excessive workload and a poor pay offer only adds insult to injury.

“The Scottish Government must step up to the plate and be prepared to put in place a pay offer that will retain teachers and recognise their tremendous efforts over the last few years.”

Paul Cochrane, SSTA salaries and conditions of service convenor, added: “Pay negotiating has repeatedly delayed to the detriment of teacher health and wellbeing. 

“The SSTA members have comprehensively indicated that they are prepared to take strike action. 

“The SSTA salaries and conditions of service committee has rejected the latest offer and is now moving to a consultative ballot of all members as the next step in our pay campaign.”

READ MORE: SQA strikes halted after 5.9% pay offer

A Scottish Government spokesman said previously: “We are committed to supporting a fair pay offer for teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, the body that negotiates teachers’ pay and conditions of service.

"It is for local government, as the employer, to make any revised offer of pay. Industrial action would not be in anyone’s interest, least of all learners and parents.

"This Government has a strong record of support for teachers, and the 5% offer would mean that teachers received a cumulative pay increase of 21.8% since 2018.”

COSLA has been contacted for comment.

The SSTA consultative ballot will be issued to members by email on Friday.