SCOTLAND’S largest teaching union has overwhelmingly backed a motion which recognises the sovereign right of the people of Scotland to decide their future.

The EIS recognised that Scotland suffers from a “democratic deficit”, with delegates also describing incidents such as the Home Office immigration raid in Glasgow’s Kenmure Street as “barbaric”.

This follows the Scottish Trade Union Council’s decision to back a second independence referendum.

SNP MSP Rona Mackay (below) said: “The people of Scotland delivered a cast iron mandate at the recent Holyrood election for a fresh independence referendum once the Covid crisis is over.

The National: Rona Mackay on the way to First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament  Picture: Ken Jack/Getty Images

“I warmly welcome the decision of EIS delegates, who just like more and more people across Scotland, believe it is the people who live here – not Boris Johnson – who have the right to decide Scotland’s future. With independence, Scotland will be safe from the Tories’ disastrous job-destroying hard Brexit, their callous dawn raids and hostile migration policies which have no place in our country.

“The Tories cannot stand in the way of Scottish democracy and the right of people in Scotland to decide how we recover from the pandemic to build a fairer and more prosperous country.”

Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer said: “It’s great to see Scotland’s teachers overwhelmingly state that our future must be decided by the people who live here. Just a few weeks ago Scottish voters elected a majority of MSPs on manifestos proposing an independence referendum in this term of parliament. Tory attempts to undermine this democratic mandate simply will not work.”

Meanwhile, the head of EIS has said the country’s exam body should be replaced, not reformed.

General secretary Larry Flanagan said the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) is “out of touch”. Earlier this month, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced plans for a review of the SQA and Education Scotland.

It came as the exams system was embroiled in another scandal over the handling of pupil qualifications in light of Covid, this time coming under attack after, despite the cancellation of exams, some pupils were forced to sit exam-style assessments in class, reports claimed. Flanagan said: “I believe that the SQA as an organisation is out of touch with the education system.

“I welcome the announcement on the review of the SQA, but frankly I am unsure about reform.

“I think replacement is a stronger option. We need a qualifications body which is accountable to the profession and not one which thinks the profession is there to do its bidding.

“We need to have a strong voice in that review process in order to ensure that post that review, we have a qualifications body that enjoys respect and support from the profession, and which exudes respect and support for the profession.”