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."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests