AN agreement has been reached between teaching union EIS and West Dunbartonshire council following 14 weeks of industrial action.

Teachers will now be balloted on the new proposals, which come after walk-outs in secondary schools across the area.

The agreement was announced today and follows discussions earlier in the week between the council, EIS and management.

Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the EIS, said they were pleased to be able to recommend acceptance of the proposals.

He said: "EIS members have shown a strong commitment throughout this campaign to achieve a model which will continue to deliver a high quality education to West Dunbartonshire pupils. These proposals will facilitate that.

“We are hopeful the proposal will be endorsed by our members who will be keen to get back to teaching and learning across West Dunbartonshire schools.”

The teachers took action over changes they said would lead to a fall in principal teacher numbers.

Two days of strikes took place on Tuesday and Wednesday and at the end of last month.

Laura Mason, chief education officer with the council, said: “I’m pleased we now have a proposal which takes account of the concerns raised on behalf of teachers, and will enable us to move forward together for our young people.

“Our teachers are fully committed to their roles and ensuring our young people attain and achieve, and I hope this proposal will allow us to resolve the dispute for the benefit of the young people of West Dunbartonshire.”

Councillor Michelle McGinty, convener of educational services, added: “It is a really positive step to have agreed a proposal with the aim of settling the dispute.

"That has always been the aim of everyone concerned. It is our hope that teachers will accept this joint proposal which strikes a balance between the council’s strategy and the concerns of our teaching staff.”

Teachers throughout all five of West Dunbartonshire's secondary schools took to the picket lines over £600,000 worth of education cuts they claimed would add to teachers’ overburdened workload —and would negatively affect the education of pupils.