'Championing the rights of children'

Teachers' strike: Thousands of schools shut across England

Garry Thu 17 Oct 2013 08:08

Thousands of schools are closed across much of England as teachers strike over pay, pensions and jobs.

Teachers in London, Cumbria, the South East, North East and South West are taking part in the one-day strike.

The action is part of a continuing campaign of regional strikes involving members of the NUT and NASUWT unions.

Education minister David Laws described the strike as "bad for pupils and bad for parents" and said government policy would not change.

Large rallies have been planned for Bristol, London and Durham.

Teachers are objecting to proposals by Education Secretary Michael Gove to bring in performance-related pay, increase their workloads and make changes to their pensions.

'No other choice'
Nineteen out of 33 London boroughs have provided information to BBC London 94.9 about the number of schools affected so far.

Of those, about 400 schools are completely closed and 450 partially closed.

Head teacher Roberta Kirby, from Fernhurst Junior School, in Portsmouth, said the government had "declared war" on teachers, as more than 200 schools in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are affected by strikes.

She said: "If we cannot offer good wages and a pension that staff pay into that reflects the work they do, then we are not going to be able to attract the best graduates."

Read more... (BBC News - 17 October)