SCOTTISH teachers have backed industrial action after talks on reducing their workload failed to reach a solution.

More than 93 per cent of secondary members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union voted in favour of action - which could see a work to rule in classrooms.

The move by the EIS comes after long-running concerns over the amount of extra work involved in the implementation of the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and new qualifications.

There have been significant changes to exams under CfE including more classroom assessments - administered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said: "This overwhelming result demonstrates the depth of anger and frustration that secondary teachers are experiencing in relation to excessive qualifications workload.

"The huge vote in favour of industrial action and the high turnout in the ballot send a very clear message that teachers have had enough.

"Assessment overload continues to place a huge strain on pupils and teachers alike and action is needed to reduce this unsustainable workload burden.”

A spokesman for the SQA said officials were conscious that teachers continued to need support to implement the new qualifications.

He said: "That’s why we have worked hard and in partnership with schools, colleges, local authorities and teaching unions, to offer the support and materials needed to make the new qualifications a success.

"We are currently engaging in work to ask teachers if there are additional changes that they would like to suggest to assessments and these meetings will conclude shortly."

Stephanie Primrose, education spokeswoman for local authority umbrella group Cosla, described the ballot result as "disappointing".

She added: "We recognise the concerns of the trade unions regarding bureaucracy and workload, but only two months ago we arrived at a joint statement with teaching unions and the Scottish Government which all sides agreed would help to address this problem.

"We recognise that this ballot arises from workload associated with the SQA curriculum and is not directed at employers, but it will be children who will lose out as a result of EIS actions."

A Scottish Government spokesman, said: "We note the result of this indicative ballot and will continue our detailed discussions with the EIS and other partners to make improvements to how our qualifications work in the interests of Scotland’s young people.

"These discussions will fully address issues of teacher workload. Industrial action would not be in the interests of anyone, least of all children and parents."