Teachers' Strike Affected Three In Five London Schools

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 29/03/2012 11:26 Updated: 29/03/2012 11:26

Teacher Strike
Hundreds of pupils were affected as teachers took to the streets in pension protests

Hundreds of students suffered as a result of teachers staging a strike on Wednesday, which saw around 6,000 teachers and lecturers marching through central London.

The Department of Education (DfE) confirmed three in five London schools were affected by the strike, although the capital was not the only area to feel the force of the protests.

A fifth of schools in London were completely closed due to the strikes, with only two in five schools remaining completely open, according to the DfE figures.

The move to down tools follows last year's strike and suggests the bitter pensions row is here to stay. Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the University and College Union (UCU) held a rally outside the DfE headquarters to voice their anger over the increase in pension contributions which are due to be enforced next week.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said the union's members were "unlikely militants" and would "much rather be doing their jobs than taking strike action and losing a day's pay".

But she added: "It is not fair for ordinary people to suffer huge cuts in their standards of living at a time when the Government is handing out huge tax give-aways to big business and high earners.''

NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: ''Teachers cannot be expected to do anything other than defend the right to a pension which they have paid into in good faith.

''No teacher wants to be in this position. It is the government's intransigence and total disregard of the facts that has forced teachers to continue with this action.''

But schools minister Nick Gibb told The Daily Telegraph he found the strike "odd".

"It is only the NUT and UCU who think there is anything to be gained by inconveniencing parents and damaging a day's
education of children at a time when the teacher pension negotiations are complete."

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Demonstrators against the Government's controversial public sector pension reforms protest outside the Department for Education in Westminster, London.
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