At least five candidates entered the race last December unaware that teaching unions would form a "slate" and publicise it in newsletters and staffrooms. That is in addition to nine representatives unions are allowed to nominate directly.
With 208 teachers standing for just 25 sets, some were predicting that only those with union support had any prospect of success.
Since the 1960s when the General Teaching Council for Scotland was set up, union candidates have taken virtually all teacher places. At present there is overwhelming domination by the Educational Institute of Scotland.
Sam Alan, a London secondary teacher, said: "What chance have any of us who are not union backed got when posters supporting certain candidates are going out to staffrooms across the country?"