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Delegates voted to create a new category of associate membership for refugee and asylum-seeking teachers. Margaret Nicol, convener of the equality committee, said there were 70 eligible teachers.

A campaign for teachers to have access to background reports about pupils won backing after speakers claimed teachers had faced disciplinary action because decisions about pupils had, through lack of information, not considered their circumstances.

Renewable sources of energy should be used for school buildings, delegates heard. Matthew Wilson, of Edinburgh, blamed an increase in asthma on air pollution. He also said that air pollution could affect brain development.

"Does it seem that the younger generation are less intelligent? Car pollution causes brain damage," he said.

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