NEW qualifications in Scottish schools are "out of control", according to a union leader.

Seamus Searson, general secretary of the Scottish Secondary Teachers Association (SSTA), made the comment after the results of a workload survey of members was published.

The SSTA conducted the survey after concerns that the introduction of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) had placed a significant additional burden on teachers.

Under CfE a raft of new examinations and updated course content have been developed by schools and there has been a significant increase in the amount of classrooms assessments that are required.

Mr Searson said: "The situation that teachers face in schools today in trying to do the best for their young people is unmanageable.

"The survey is clear evidence that the requirements of the new qualifications are out of control and are an imposition upon secondary school teachers.

“Teachers have insufficient time to carry out the over-bureaucratic arrangements set out and we are requesting that councils, as the employers of teachers, take control of the situation and impose limits on teacher time being spent on such activities."

The survey showed that teachers are being required to teach different courses within the same class at the same time with half teaching two courses, a quarter teaching three courses and three per cent teaching four courses.

According to respondents 95 per cent said they had not been given any additional time to complete the tasks.

Comments from SSTA members included the statement: "Yet again the profession is faced with significant externally imposed demands on time in respect of developing poorly-specified courses with totally inadequate levels of detailed prescription and support materials being made available.

"We have been inundated with new courses, new requirements, and new assessments and we are totally demoralised and worn out."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Scottish Government, working closely with the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Education Scotland, has provided an unprecedented level of support – over £11 million since 2012 – to help teachers and schools prepare for Curriculum for Excellence and the National Qualifications.

“We are continuing our detailed discussions with teacher unions 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.”

Council body Cosla said a recent deal on pay included a commitment to look at workload issues for teachers.

The survey comes just weeks after teachers from the Educational Institute of Scotland union backed industrial action after talks on reducing their workload failed to reach a solution.

More than 93 per cent of secondary members of the EIS voted in favour of action - which could see a work to rule in classrooms.

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."