Commenting on the news that Scottish teaching unions have balloted in favour of industrial action in opposition to growing workloads, James McEnaney, RISE's education spokesperson, said:  

"Nicola Sturgeon wishes to be judged on her record when it comes to education but, with the election less than 24 hours away, we now know that her policies and approach are failing.

"Despite widespread opposition and a range of evidence - including scenes of parents keeping their children out of school in protest at a similar testing regime in England - the SNP remain obstinate in their determination to push through a system of National Standardised Testing. This policy - initially demanded by the Tories and Labour - is politically-motivated, will undermine the teaching profession, and will do nothing at all to tackle the 'attainment gap'. In truth, standardised testing is likely to make things worse instead of better, not least because it will lead to the return of damaging league tables and increased teaching to the test.

"On top of this teaching unions are now moving towards unprecedented industrial action in response to unsustainable workloads imposed on educators. With the EIS already announcing their intention to ballot members, and the SSTA highlighting their own concerns, NASUWT have today backed a boycott of work associated with Curriculum for Excellence. It is difficult to imagine a more resounding rejection of the SNP's ability to address one of the biggest problems facing Scottish education right now.

"One of Nicola Sturgeon's first acts in the new parliament will be deciding whether to finally listen to the teaching profession, or to push ahead with her destructive and ill-advised plans. On this occasion she should have the courage to admit that she is wrong, abandon plans to impose standardised tests, and take the concerns of teachers seriously.

"RISE stands resolutely behind the teaching unions, and the broader teaching profession, and will continue to support their campaigns for change, because teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions. 

"Other parties may not trust the teaching profession, but we do."