Strike hits 76% of schools


More than three-quarters of England's state schools faced disruption due to today's walkout, the latest Government figures show.

According to the Department for Education, of 21,476 schools, 13,349 (62%) are believed to have closed to pupils entirely.

A further 2,951 (14%) were reported to be partly open, meaning 76% of England's schools were affected in total.

These figures include maintained schools, academies, free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools.

The DfE's figures show that just 3,351 state schools (16%) were fully open, while the rest (8%) are unknown.

Among maintained schools only, 63% were reported to be closed, with a further 13% partially open.

Of 1,449 academies, free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools, 57% were reported to be closed and a further 29% partially open.

David Cameron had earlier told MPs at Prime Minister's Questions that the "evidence would suggest that around 40% of schools are open".

Data gathered by the Press Association from 113 English local authorities suggests that in these areas alone around 11,500 schools have been affected in some way.

In Wales, more than 1,500 out of 1,776 schools have closed their doors, and only 30 of Scotland's 2,700 schools opened.

And in Northern Ireland roughly 800 schools, two thirds in total, faced disruption.

Overall, millions of children missed lessons today as their teachers took to picket lines.

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: "No-one is pleased that schools are closed because we know what disruption that causes, but it's very important that the Government understands the depth of anger and hurt."

Speaking at a rally in Manchester, Dr Bousted said: "We are not here to say that there must be no changes. We are here to say to the Government, stop treating us with contempt.

"If you need to change public sector pensions because people are living longer, show us your sums. Make your case. And if you can do this, then negotiate properly. Stop engaging in megaphone diplomacy. Stop the threats and the misrepresentation. Start behaving responsibly. Start acting like a government not like a shower.

"And let's get a resolution to this dispute. We are willing to work towards a settlement. Is the Government willing to make the same commitment - not just by their words, which are cheap, but by their actions?"

Five teaching unions, collectively representing hundreds of thousands of teachers, schools leaders and lecturers, took part in today's public sector strike.

Three of them, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and the University and College Union (UCU) took part in astrike in June.

They have been joined today by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) and NASUWT for the TUC's day of action.

The unions argue that the Government's public sector pension plans will leave teachers paying in more, working longer and receiving less when they retire.

Ministers argue that reform is needed to make pensions sustainable for the future.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said today's strikes will "benefit no one".

"They will disrupt pupils' education; hugely inconvenience parents; and damage teachers' reputation," he said.

"It's irresponsible to strike while negotiations are ongoing. Many parents will struggle to understand why schools are closed when the pension deal on the table means that teachers will still be better rewarded than the vast majority of workers in the private sector."


Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
peopleNational cycling charity CTC said he 'should have known better'
Life and Style
The fashion retailers have said they will now not place any further orders for the slim mannequin
Arts and Entertainment
Ugne, 32, is a Lithuanian bodybuilder
tvThey include a Lithuanian bodybuilder who believes 'cake is a sin' and the Dalai Lama's personal photographer
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Operations Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation based in Peac...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £43,000

£20000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful and rapidly gro...

Recruitment Genius: Laser Setter & Operator - Personalised Gift Company

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Laser Setter & Operator is re...

Recruitment Genius: Experienced PSV Coach & Minibus Drivers

£12500 - £24500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Drivers wanted for a family run...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food