TEACHERS are to campaign for a cut to the amount of time they spend in the classroom.

Members of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union want a reduction from the current weekly maximum of 22.5 hours class contact time to just 20 hours.

Teachers at the EIS annual general meeting in Perth overwhelmingly backed a motion on the issue, arguing the time would be better spent on marking and preparing lessons.

READ MORE: Teachers 'working eight hours a week extra'

The motion also endorsed a campaign to reduce class sizes in all mainstream schools to just 20. The current maximum is 33 although nubers are capped at 25 in P1.

It comes after teachers won a 13 per cent pay increase, staggered over three years, following a lengthy campaign and threats of strike action.

The next phase of their campaign is to highlight what they see as an excessive workload burden.

Andrew Fullwood, a teacher from Glasgow, said: "Workload is a major issue for us and we need to acknowledge that.

"We need to recognise that for years we have been saying workload is an issue. We really need to do something that reduces workload in a concrete fashion."

Mr Fullwood said the EIS should build support for a campaign to reduce class contact time, but also stressed industrial action was one way of achieving the aim in future.

READ MORE: Teachers want to cut classroom time to 17.5 hours a week

Backing the motion, Jennifer Gaffney, a teacher from South Lanarkshire, said teachers made more decisions in one day than brain surgeons.

Nicola Fisher, a teacher from Glasgow, said "warm words" from the Scottish Government on workload was not enough and it was time for legislation to reduce class contact time.

The motion calling for change from EIS local associations in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire was passed overwhelmingly.

It means the EIS will begin a campaign to secure a negotiated reduction of maximum class contact time for teachers to 20 hours per week and to increase preparation and correction time to 10 hours per week.

Last year, a major report on education systems around the world found Scotland’s teachers spent a higher percentage of time in the classroom than most other countries.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said Scottish teachers spent 860 hours a year teaching in secondary schools compared to an average of 700 hours.

An EIS survey published earlier this week found a majority of teachers are also working at least an extra eight hours a week over the 35 hours maximum.

A commitment to reduce workload has been written into a recent agreement with the Scottish Government and council umbrella body Cosla on teachers’ pay.