Head teachers vote to strike over pensions

Head teachers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action, delivering a massive blow to the Government's hopes of averting strike action over plans to cutpublic-sector pensions.

The first ballot on national industrial action in the history of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) produced a 75.3 per cent vote in favour. A turnout of 53.6 per cent from its 20,000 voting members is among the highest of any union campaigning against the Government's proposed public spending cuts.

Russell Hobby, the union's general secretary, said: "In many ways this is an unhappy milestone. I have spoken at length to many school leaders and not one has been anything other than upset and sometimes downright angry that they have been forced into this situation as the only way to stand up for the profession and standards."

The vote is likely to mean that the NAHT will join fellow public-sector workers at the picket line on 30 November – the day selected for a one-day strike against the proposals by more than a million people.