Teachers’ strike could close schools

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Schools could close when teachers take strike action in a dispute over pay, pensions and workloads.

Wakefield is among areas of the country to be hit by a one-day strike on October 1 called by the country’s two biggest teaching unions, the NUT and NASUWT.

The action could see lessons cancelled and parents forced to make alternative childcare arrangements.

The unions have accused Michael Gove, the secretary of state for education, of refusing to negotiate over changes to teachers’ terms and conditions of employment.

Mr Gove has brought in controversial changes which included performance-related pay and allowing individual schools to set their own salaries instead of them being decided nationally.

The strike, which will affect West, South and East Yorkshire, Humberside, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire is part of a rolling programme of industrial action by the unions.

Ian Stevenson, regional secretary for the NUT, said: “This is part of a build-up to an all-out national strike. The reason for the strike is that the secretary of state is refusing to have meaningful negotiations with us to avoid industrial action.”

The Department for Education said the strike would disrupt pupils’ education, inconvenience parents and damage the reputation of the teaching profession.

A spokeswoman said Mr Gove had offered to meeting the unions to continue discussions.

She added: “It is disappointing that the NUT and NASUWT are striking over the government’s measures to allow heads to pay good teachers more.”