CHILDREN attending school in the constituencies of key politicians including Scotland’s First Minister will face an extra six days of disruption to their education as teachers take “targeted” strike action.

Many schools in the five affected areas will be closed as the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) escalates industrial action in the long-running dispute over pay.

The union has singled out areas covered by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister John Swinney, Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville, Scottish Green education spokesman Ross Greer and Katie Hagmann, the resources spokeswoman for local authority body Cosla, for further action.

The EIS has announced three days of strike action in Glasgow Southside, Dunfermline, Perthshire North and the part of Clydebank and Milngavie constituency that lies within the East Dunbartonshire Council area between February 22 and 24.

READ MORE: Strikes: Teaching union rejects Scottish Government pay offer

A further three days of strike action will take place in these areas, and also in Hagmann’s Mid Galloway and Wigtown West ward in Dumfries and Galloway between March 7 and 9.

The action will be on top of national strikes on February 28 and March 1 and another 20 days of rolling walkouts across Scotland’s local authorities between March 13 and April 21.

EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley said: “These strike dates are targeted at key decision-makers with the ability to resolve the ongoing dispute over teachers’ pay.

“The announcement of targeted action has already drawn a long-awaited revised pay offer from the Scottish Government and local authority employers.

The National: The Educational Institute of Scotland is escalating its programme of industrial actionThe Educational Institute of Scotland is escalating its programme of industrial action (Image: PA)

“While that offer was unacceptable, the EIS remains ready to engage in further talks with the Scottish Government and Cosla with a view to reaching a negotiated settlement that can end this dispute and thereby halt all planned strike action in schools.”

In Perth and Kinross, where Swinney is MSP for Perthshire North, around 40 schools will be closed between February 22 and 24, with no decision yet announced for the March dates.

In the East Dunbartonshire council area which is part of Greer’s regional constituency, nine schools will be closed on both the February and March dates.

Glasgow City Council has written to parents in Sturgeon’s Glasgow Southside constituency to inform them that schools in the area are being targeted, but that it is not yet known if they will have to close on those days.

Douglas Hutchison, the council’s executive director of education services, wrote: “Since we do not know in advance how many teachers will take part in the action, we are not able to say at this stage if there will be a full closure of schools to pupils on these days.

“Officers will work with headteachers to see what is possible and schools will let their families know the information for their school community.”

Fife Council has yet to announce its plans.

The EIS this week rejected the latest pay offer put to it by Somerville, the MSP for Dunfermline.

Somerville said teachers who earn up to £80,000 would be given a 6% pay boost backdated to April 2022 and a further 5.5% from the start of the 2023 financial year, in what is the fifth offer put to them.

But EIS general secretary Andrea Bradley dismissed the offer as “inadequate”, and said the union’s executive committee had “unanimously agreed that the current programme of strike action will continue as scheduled”.

Somerville said it was “deeply disappointing” for the union to reject the offer without consulting its members, and branded the scheduled walkouts as “damaging”.

The fresh deal, which came after ministers found another £156 million to fund the pay rises, was put to unions on Tuesday evening after being agreed at a crunch meeting of Cosla officials, the umbrella body of council officials.

Cosla said it would represent a 11.5% rise over the two years.