26 March 2014 Last updated at 03:24 ET

Teachers' strike in England and Wales: Updates on Wednesday 26 March

    07:30: Emma Hallett BBC News

    Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the teachers' strike.

    If you'd like us to feature any of your photos or comments email them to locallive@bbc.co.uk.

    Schools disrupted 07:32:

    Thousands of children are facing disruption as members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) stage industrial action over pay, pensions and conditions.

    Teachers marching in Bristol

    During a strike in October more than 3,000 schools were shut or partially closed in London, Cumbria, the South East, North East and South West.

    Strike issues 07:40:

    The NUT says the one-day action is against:

    • Excessive workload and bureaucracy
    • Performance related pay
    • Unfair pension changes
    Government reaction 07:46:

    The industrial action has been condemned by the Department for Education which says it will disrupt parents' lives and damage children's education.

    • News updates on the teachers' strike
    • Pictures, analysis and reaction from 26 March
    National strike 07:55:

    Today's walkout affects schools in England and Wales. It is the third national strike since 2011.

    Scotland and Northern Ireland are not affected.

    Schools closed in Wales 08:00:

    More than 460 schools will be partially closed and nearly 300 completely shut in Wales as a result of the action.

    Parents are advised to check council websites.

    Why strike? 08:04:

    As thousands of teachers go on strike, BBC News looks at why they are taking the action.

    Strike in Cornwall 08:13:

    In Cornwall the local authority says 63 out of 272 schools have reported they will be either fully or partially closed as a result of the national teacher strike.

    A list of the closures known so far can be found here.

    'Desperate last measure' 08:16:

    Yvonne Carr, the NUT representative at Sowerby Bridge High School in West Yorkshire, said: "People only go on strike when they're desperate.

    Teachers picketing at Sowerby Bridge High School

    "It's a desperate last measure to get this government to listen to the fact their changes will be detrimental for education - not just for teachers today but for the next generation of children to come."

    Action 'unnecessary' 08:18:

    Schools Minister David Laws says the action is "totally unnecessary and wrong".

    "We have seven major teaching and head teaching unions in this country. All of them are in talks with us. Six of them are not striking today.

    "I think it is very sad that the National Union of Teachers have decided to take this industrial action. I don't believe that it is supported by the overwhelming majority of teachers."

    Oxfordshire school closures 08:20:

    Almost 100 school closures are currently listed for Oxfordshire on the county council's website.

    Nottingham picket line 08:25: Geeta Pendse Reporter, BBC East Midlands Today

    Some teachers are starting to assemble a picket line at Bilborough College in Nottingham.

    Bilborough College
    Strike in the South East 08:28: Nick Tarver BBC News, South East

    More than 170 schools in Sussex will be affected by the teachers' strike, 80 schools in Surrey and 60 in Kent.

    Details of each school's status can be found on their websites.

    Your views 08:30:

    Are you a teacher? Are you going on strike? Or are you a parent whose child will be affected by the strike? Email your comments and experiences to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with the subject heading 'Teachers strike'.

    'Encouraged' by talks 08:33:

    In a letter to seven union bosses on Tuesday, Education Secretary Michael Gove set out the progress he believed had been made in an ongoing programme of talks between the Department for Education and these teaching unions.

    Michael Gove

    He said he had "been following the progress of the weekly talks closely" and was "encouraged" by reports from the meetings.

    West Midlands school closures 08:35:

    More than 200 schools across Birmingham and the West Midlands are affected by the strike, reports BBC WM.

    In Staffordshire, the county council is reporting 50 schools are closed or partially closed, with 36 affected in Stoke-on-Trent.

    In Shropshire 12 schools are closed with disruption to classes at 21 others.

    Cumbria closures 08:37:

    According to Cumbria County Council, about 40 schools will be affected by today's action.

    Thirty-three of those will be completely closed.

    'Stop messing about' 08:41:

    The NUT's general secretary, Christine Blower, tells BBC Radio Newcastle: "We're standing up for education.

    "We're standing up for the right of people to have their children taught by qualified teachers, to have schools properly funded and to make sure the government stops messing about with the curriculum and assessments."

    Strike in London 08:43: Elaine Okyere BBC London News

    In Enfield, in north London, 37 schools are closed, including more than half of the borough's primaries - only seven will be open as usual.

    While Lambeth Council, in south London, said 24 of its schools would be closed with 12 remaining open.

    Upset parents 08:49:

    Sean Peters, who is a father-of-two from Horsham, in West Sussex, said his children's school only informed parents about the strike on Monday.

    Speaking to BBC Sussex, he said: "I'm a train driver and if I told my boss on Monday that I wouldn't be coming into work on Wednesday, there would be an outcry by the public."

    Berkshire school closures 08:50: Sue Paz BBC News, South

    Councils in Berkshire say about 70 schools are affected by the strike.

    'Teachers should be teaching' 08:53:

    Spencer Pitfield, a Conservative spokesman for Sheffield and South Yorkshire who is also a teacher at an independent school, told BBC Radio Sheffield he disagreed with the NUT's strike.

    "Children should be at school, teachers should be teaching and a lost day of school is not a good thing," he said.

    "While I accept they have issues they would like to raise with the government, the right thing is to sit round the table and not close schools."

    Closed gates 08:55:

    The gates of Bassett Green Primary School in Southampton, which has about 430 pupils, will remain shut today.

    Bassett Green Primary School in Southampton

    Head teacher and NUT member Liz Filer said: "I think Michael Gove has done one great thing - he's united the teaching profession."

    Newcastle school closures 08:57:

    A total of 38 schools will be fully closed and 29 partially closed in Newcastle today, the city council says.

    Latest on strike 09:00: Emma Hallett BBC News

    Thousands of schoolchildren in England and Wales are facing disruption as teachers strike over pay, pensions and conditions.

    Members of the NUT are taking part in the action and will join marches and rallies later.

    The government says the strike is disrupting parents' lives and holding back children's education.

    'Little alternative' 09:02:

    NUT Wales secretary David Evans, who stressed that earlier planned action has already been called off twice, said: "I don't think anyone can accuse the NUT of taking this strike action lightly.

    "Unfortunately teachers across Wales really do feel as if they are left with little alternative."

    Strike in Gloucestershire 09:04: Ian Parker BBC News, West

    Thirty-five schools across Gloucestershire are affected by the teachers' strike

    A list of full and partial closures can be found on the county council's website.

    'Save our schools' 09:07: Jenni Hulse Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    I'm outside Kingsmead School in Derby where NUT members are out on strike.

    NUT members out on strike outside Kingsmead School in Derby

    Sue Arguile, from the Derby branch of the NUT, says it's a small picket line but the mood is good.

    From speaking to other members in nearby Swinfen and Littleover, she says the support from passersby is welcomed and "vibrant".

    Hampshire school closures 09:11: Sue Paz BBC News, South

    More than 100 schools and colleges are currently affected by the strikes in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight, according to the local councils.

    Strike in Liverpool 09:14: Jerry Chester, BBC News, North West

    In Liverpool 123 schools are closed or partially closed, according to the city council

    A full list of the closures and partial closures can be found on the council website.

    'Talks weekly' 09:16:

    A Department for Education spokesman said: "Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government's measures to let heads pay good teachers more.

    "They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.

    "Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."

    Strike in Leicestershire 09:19: Dave Wade BBC News, East Midlands

    Leicestershire County Council says 25 primary schools, eight secondary schools and three special schools are closed today.

    A total of 37 primary schools, nine secondary schools and two special schools are partially open. Four special schools and 14 primary schools are fully open.

    Teaching at 68? 09:21:

    Phil Anthony, who is head of philosophy at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College, said the reason for the strike was "simple".

    "Michael Gove won't negotiate with us on pensions and performance-related pay," he said.

    NUT banner in Brighton

    "Is it reasonable that teachers should stay in the classroom teaching young children until they are 68-years-old?"

    'Teachers moan' 09:24:

    Scott Gillett tweets: @bbcderby teachers moan but it's the only job that gets term time off and paid. If you take a child out for holiday your fined

    Strike in Bristol 09:25:

    Bristol City Council has published a list of schools affected by the industrial action.

    'Some major disruption' 09:27: Jessica Parker, Polical reporter, BBC South

    Across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight we have about a thousand schools, colleges and early years centres.

    On the Isle of Wight about 16 are expected to fully or partially close today out of 50.

    While around half of Poole's 30 schools are affected. So there will be some major disruption for parents.

    Oldbury picket line 09:29: Richie Anderson BBC WM reporter

    Teachers have assembled a picket line at Oldbury Academy in the West Midlands.

    Picket line at Oldbury Academy

    The group of about 20 teachers are waving banners, blowing whistles and chanting.

    John Worton, the NUT representative for the school, told me they have a right to defend their working conditions and pensions.

    'No need for strike' 09:32:

    Alec Shelbrooke, Conservative MP for Rothwell and Elmet in West Yorkshire, told BBC Radio Leeds there was "no need" for NUT members to strike.

    He said his parents had both been teachers and he remembered them working very long hours, including weekends, even 30 years ago.

    "There may well be problems and things needing to be done, but look at the programme the government has set down in terms of empowering schools, the academy programme and allowing professional teachers to take more control," he said.

    Strike in Lancashire 09:34: Jerry Chester, BBC News, North West

    More than 70 schools across Lancashire are closed or partially closed, according to the county council.

    There's a list of closures and partial closures on the Lancashire County Council website.

    Marches and rallies 09:36:

    Members of the NUT will be joining rallies across England and Wales today, with the largest expected to be held in London.

    'Not listening' 09:39:

    Responding to Michael Gove's letter to the unions Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said it "shows how little he listens".

    She continued: "His letter confirms why we are right to strike. The Secretary of State has attended none of the talks, nor have other ministers.

    "The talks are with civil servants who are forbidden by Mr Gove from straying into areas of policy. The talks are only allowed to discuss how Mr Gove's policies are implemented."

    Strike in Devon 09:43:

    Devon County Council has a list of the county's schools affected by the industrial action.

    Picket line in Leicester 09:45:

    The picket line at Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College in Leicester.

    Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I college
    Strikes in the East 09:48:

    Hundreds of schools are currently being affected by the teachers' strike in the east of England.

    Latest figures from councils show that at least 77 schools are closed or partially closed in Norfolk, with 70 schools in Suffolk and 118 in Cambridgeshire.

    More than 100 schools in Essex, 74 in Hertfordshire, 46 in Buckinghamshire, 40 in Bedfordshire and 17 in Northamptonshire have also been affected by the industrial action.

    'Constructive dialogue' 09:53:

    Schools Minister David Laws tells BBC Somerset the action is "totally unnecessary and wrong"

    "There are seven big teaching unions in this country and six of these aren't taking industrial action today. All of these unions... are currently in talks about some of the issues teachers have expressed concerns.

    "Surely the right thing to do... is to continue those talks and have a constructive dialogue and not to damage the education of young people."

    Strike in Bradford 09:55:

    Some 112 council-run schools across the Bradford district are either completely or partially closed so far due to the NUT's industrial action, Bradford Council says.

    Picket line in Lancaster 09:57: Nishma Hindocha, BBC Radio Lancashire

    Here are staff on a picket line at Dallas Road primary school in Lancaster.

    Picket line at Dallas Road primary school in Lancaster
    Your views 09:59:

    Katy, from Chester, emails: "On my way to Liverpool's rally for education. No teacher I know wants to strike however the impact that Gove is having in Education has taken us to this point.

    "Workload is unmanageable, pay cuts will harm recruitment and his lack of commitment to having qualified teachers in schools is a scandal.

    "Liverpool's rally (and rallies across the country) are ordinary teachers with a passion for education today."

    Strike in Salford 10:01: Jerry Chester, BBC News, North West

    There are 58 schools closed or partially closed in Salford, according to the city council.

    'Huge workload' 10:04:

    A North Yorkshire teacher, who wished to remain anonymous, texted BBC Radio York to say she would not be striking.

    She said: "Yes, teachers have a huge workload but so do many other sectors of the workforce. I have many friends who work way in excess of 40 hours per week.

    "What concerns me about the working conditions of teachers is the requirement to work until 68. To me it is unreasonable to expect a 68 year old to have the energy to deal with a class of 30 children at either end of the age spectrum."

    Switching unions 10:06: Rosie Eaton Reporter, BBC Coventry and Warwickshire

    I'm at a very angry and very vocal picket line at Tile Hill Wood School in Coventry where they arechanting "Stop Gove, before it's too late".

    Tile Hill School picket line

    PE Teacher Claire Pannai told me she had switched unions from the NASUWT to take part in the strike because she "didn't want to settle for second best" when it came to education for children.

    Parent's frustration 10:09:

    Gillian Wardle, from Aspatria, tells BBC Radio Cumbria of her frustration at the strike, which has forced her to take a day off work to look after three of her four children.

    She says: "I'd be fined £240 if I took the kids out of school [without authorisation].

    "I can understand people wanting more pay, but everybody would like a pay rise and not everyone can go on strike."

    'Little choice' 10:13:

    In Warwickshire 27 schools are closed with more than 80 others having to cancel classes, reports BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

    Physics teacher, Chris Denson, from the Coventry NUT, said teachers have "little choice but to take industrial action".

    "Our take home pay has gone down by 17%, our pensions have been under attack and the working conditions are getting worse and worse," he said.

    School closure update 10:17:

    Merthyr council has updated its school closure website page. There are four schools closed and four partially closed.

    This brings the approximate number of schools affected in Wales to just over 470 partially closed and just under 300 closed.

    'Out of proportion' 10:23:

    Rachel Maclean, who is the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Northfield, told BBC WM the strike issues have been "blown out of proportion" by the NUT.

    She said: "The Education department have offered talks to the NUT and, in fact, the other teaching union, the NASUWT, have been quite content with the progress of the talks that are going on.

    "I would question whether the NUT is representing its members adequately."

    'Why sit back?' 10:25: via Facebook

    Joanne Myers wrote on BBC Radio Nottingham's Facebook page: "Why should people sit back and say 'yes, take my pension and pay me less'? Next it will be term time only pay like the thousands of support staff in schools get."

    Teachers on strike in Sheffield 10:27: Martin Coldrick BBC News, Yorkshire

    Members of the NUT at Westfield School in Sheffield have been on the official picket line since about 08:00 GMT.

    Pickets at Westfield School, Sheffield
    Have your say 10:29:

    Have you been affected by today's strike? Email your comments and experiences to haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with the subject heading 'Teachers strike'.

    Strike in Nottinghamshire 10:32:

    In Nottingham, nine schools are closed and 35 partially closed.

    Across the rest of the county there are 14 closed and 69 partially affected. The county council website has the latest information.

    '60 hour weeks' 10:34:

    Bob Stapley, the London regional secretary of the NUT, told BBC London 94.9, he hoped the strike would be successful and wanted Michael Gove to take action over conditions.

    "Teachers should not be working 60 hours a week in this country and he needs to sit down and address those concerns with us," he said.

    Pay in Wales 10:36:

    The Welsh government has power over education, but pay for teachers is controlled by the UK government.

    BBC Radio Wales Morning Call presenter Oliver Hides asked Owen Hathway, of NUT Cymru, whether the union would support the Welsh government being given responsibility for teachers' pay and conditions.

    He said: "We believe if it was to be devolved, because of the economic situation in Wales, that would lead to lower pay for teachers in Wales and as a result, not only would they be paid less for doing the same job, but we would potentially lose a brain drain of teachers across the border."

    'Who ya gonna call?' 10:39: Geeta Pendse Reporter, BBC East Midlands Today

    It's obvious what these Nottingham striking teachers with their 'Govebusters' placards think.


    We'll have reaction from teachers, parents and students on today's strike action on BBC East Midlands Today at 13:30.

    'Under pressure' 10:41:

    At the picket line this morning Tony Dabb, of Charles Thorp Comprehensive School in Ryton, Gateshead, tells BBC Radio Newcastle's Emma Wass that workloads for primary and secondary school teachers are "unsustainable".

    He adds: "That's the kind of thing that makes teachers very stressed and an increasing number of younger teachers are leaving the profession.

    "We need to draw a line to make sure people stay in the job."

    Sixty schools affected 10:43:

    BBC Somerset reports more than 60 schools in Somerset and Bath and North East Somerset are affected by the walkout.

    'No sympathy' for teachers 10:45:

    Kirsty Waites, who has two children at school in Hull, tells BBC Radio Humberside she does not agree with the strike action being taken by members of the NUT.

    "I don't sympathise with them, I'm afraid. Everybody is being asked to do a little bit more and work longer hours and do more for their job in the current climate," she says.

    "They are not the only ones being expected to do that."

    'Show solidarity' 10:48:

    The Newcastle branch of the NUT calls for people to 'show solidarity' as it prepares to stage a rally at the city's Grey's Monument at noon.

    Latest on strike 10:52: Emma Hallett BBC News

    Pupils across England and Wales are facing disruption to lessons as teachers join rallies, marches and picket lines to protest against changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions.

    A young boy in Liverpool's Mann Island holds aloft a flag in support for the Nation Union of Teachers

    The one-day walkout, called by the NUT, has been condemned by the Department for Education which says it will disrupt parents' lives and damage children's education.

    Strike in West Yorkshire 10:56:

    About 100 schools are closed or partially closed in the Kirklees district of West Yorkshire due to industrial action by teachers, according to Kirklees Council.

    Your views 10:58:

    Farhaz Patel, from London, emails: "I am a young teacher and am enthusiastic about my job.

    "I am striking because I think its farcical that some schools are allowed to employ unqualified teachers to teach students. Would you allow an unqualified doctor to operate on yourself?"

    Performance-related pay 'not bad' 11:01:

    Ian Bauckham, head teacher of Bennett Memorial School in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, says he does not agree with the strike as performance-related pay is "not a bad idea".

    He tells BBC Radio Kent: "They [the NUT] say it can too easily, in their view, become payment by exam results.

    "I don't personally buy that. I don't think that's how it should be implemented and I don't think that's the way it is being implemented."

    March in Liverpool 11:03:

    Noel Hulse, from the NUT, sent this picture of their march on Victoria Street in Liverpool.

    NUT march in Liverpool
    'Staying open' 11:07: Arwyn Jones BBC Wales education correspondent

    What we're seeing in Wales is that secondary schools are staying open for years 10 and 11, and maybe years 12 and 13, so GCSEs and A-levels are being protected.

    School closures in Yorkshire 11:14:

    BBC Look North in Yorkshire has just compiled the latest school closure figures for West, South, and North Yorkshire due to industrial action by the NUT:

    • In West Yorkshire 121 schools are closed, 256 schools are partially closed
    • In South Yorkshire 78 schools are closed, 92 schools are partially closed
    • In North Yorkshire 29 schools are closed, 68 schools are partially closed

    The total number of schools affected is 644, which equates to about 38% of all schools in the three counties.

    'Postcards for Gove' 11:20: Ben Bland Reporter, BBC Look East

    Cambridge NUT reps are preparing banners and handing out "postcards to Michael Gove" in Petersfield ahead of their march through Cambridge city centre.

    NUT strike in Cambridge

    There are about 40 people here at the moment.

    Strike in Lincolnshire 11:22:

    In Lincolnshire, two schools are closed and 22 are partially affected by the strike.

    The county council website has the latest information.

    Mood 'defiant' 11:24: Tamsin Melville BBC Cornwall political reporter

    There may have only been about 80 teachers gathered at a rally in Truro, but the mood was defiant, with chants of "What do we want? - Gove Out".

    NUT rally in Truro

    Passers-by were mixed in their reactions, with one saying they were lucky to have a job, but others thinking it was good to take a stand.

    'Demoralised and exhausted' 11:27:

    Owen Hathway, of NUT Cymru, told BBC Radio Wales: "One of the big things that's coming through with us from our members, as much as these are fundamental issues facing them and their families, a lot of them are on strike because they're seeing how demoralised the profession is becoming, how exhausted it is.

    "It's becoming more and more difficult to attract the brightest and best in the profession and retain them once they are there."

    Strikers parade through Bradford 11:30:

    A piper leads striking teachers through Bradford as they parade around the city centre prior to holding a rally.

    Piper leads striking teachers in Bradford
    Strike 'disappoints' Laws 11:38:

    Liberal Democratic minister for schools David Laws answered questions posed by School Reporters from Aldworth School in Basingstoke, Lilian Baylis School in London and Poltair School in St Austell about Wednesday's teachers' strike.

    Lib Dem schools minister David Laws
    Supporting the strike 11:40:

    Dr Hywel Francis, Labour MP for Aberavon, a constituency in the county of Neath Port Talbot, in Wales, says he is supporting the strike because Michael Gove and the government are refusing to listen to the concerns of the teaching profession.

    "The excessive workload and bureaucracy forced on the teaching profession is unacceptable.

    "It is wrong that this Coalition Government want teachers to pay more towards their pension, work longer and receive a smaller pension when they retire."

    East Midlands school closures 11:42: Dave Wade BBC News, East Midlands

    In Derby, 12 schools are closed and 13 partially open. Eleven are closed and 48 others partially affected in the rest of the county.

    Leicester City Council says 38 schools are closed and 37 are partially open closed. In Leicestershire, 22 are closed and 30 are partially closed.

    In Nottingham nine schools are closed and 35 are partially closed. In the rest of the county, 16 are closed and 65 are partially open.

    Nottingham march 11:43: Geeta Pendse Reporter, BBC East Midlands Today

    Striking teachers are on the march in Nottingham.

    Nottingham NUT strike
    Your views: 'Fine teachers' 11:45: via Facebook

    We've asked on Facebook for your views on the strike.

    Mel Dale writes: "So parents get punished for taking children out for a hol and the teachers can just randomly go on strike? lets fine the teachers!"

    Hundreds march in Cambridge 11:46: Ben Bland Reporter, BBC Look East

    The Cambridge march has started with the main chant being: "Gove Gove Gove... Out Out Out!"

    There are about 300 to 350 people taking part, with protesters expected to arrive at the Guildhall at 12:15 GMT.

    Scale of the strike 11:48: Katherine Sellgren BBC News education reporter

    Today's action is being taken by the NUT alone. The NASUWT, which had taken part in industrial action prior to the government agreeing to talks, has decided not to take part in this latest strike.

    The NUT has 326,930 members across England and Wales. There are some 24,330 schools in England and 1,700 in Wales - around 26,030 in total.

    It is difficult to gauge the scale of the disruption of today's action, as individual schools will have made their own arrangements for the day, depending on how many of their staff have gone on strike.

    London march 11:52:

    Members of the National Union of Teachers are gathering in central London for a protest march.

    Union members

    They will be marching from Langham Place to Westminster, local road closures will be in place.

    'Pulled in all directions' 12:00:

    Teesside-based educational consultant Wendy Bell has expressed sympathy for teachers.

    She told BBC Tees: "I really feel for these professionals who are desperate to do their best for the children.

    "They are being pulled in all directions because of targets and data, and they are unable to teach to the best of their abilities."

    Ipswich rally 12:01: Luke Deal, reporter, BBC Radio Suffolk

    About 100 NUT supporters have been striking in Ipswich and a rally has been held in the town centre.

    Ipswich NUT strike
    Cardiff Bay rally 12:03:

    Members of the union in Wales are attending an NUT Cymru rally outside the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay.

    Teachers attending an NUT Cymru rally outside the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay

    NUT Wales secretary David Evans said: "Teachers are being asked to pay more into their pensions and are being asked to work longer. So it's pay more, work longer, receive less."

    Impact on schools 12:05:

    BBC Look North in Hull has compiled the latest school closure figures for Hull, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire due to industrial action by the NUT:

    • In Hull two schools are closed, 34 schools are partially closed
    • In the East Riding nine schools are closed, 50 schools are partially closed
    • In Lincolnshire, seven schools are closed, 36 are partially closed
    Southampton rally 12:08: Jessica Parker, Political Reporter, BBC South

    About 100 people have turned out for the NUT rally at Guildhall Square in Southampton.

    NUT rally at Guildhall Square, Southampton

    As well as "Gove Out" placards, a skeleton has been dressed up in a shirt and tie with a note attached that says: "I can't work to 68."

    Strike costs parents money 12:11:

    Childminder Karen Humble, from Clifton in Nottingham, is looking after nine children today as a result of the strike.

    "We charge £4 an hour per child so for six hours that's an extra £24 a parent has got to find," she said. "Parents are not keen to pay out an extra cost."

    Birmingham rally 12:13: Caroline Gall BBC News

    I'm at the NUT protest by teachers outside Birmingham city council house in Victoria Square.

    Birmingham NUT strike protest

    There are hundreds of people here waving banners and cheering loudly as speeches are given.

    One speaker tells the crowd she is opposed to the government's "pub quiz curriculum".

    Government position 12:15:

    The government has criticised today's strike, adding that the NUT had called for talks to avoid industrial action, to which it agreed, and have been taking place.

    The Department for Education said in a statement: "Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession.

    The DfE has also quoted a Populus poll from last year, which it says found that 61% of respondents supported linking teachers' pay to performance and 70% either opposed the strikes or believed that teachers should not be allowed to strike at all.

    London march 12:17:

    Hundreds of teachers have gathered in Langham Place ahead of a march in central London.

    Union members preparing to march to Westminster

    The route will start at Langham Place before heading to Regent Street, Haymarket, Whitehall and Parliament Square. A rally will be held in Westminster at about 13:00 GMT.

    Your views: 'We all work longer' 12:19:

    Mark, from Salford, emails: "Why do teachers think they are the only workforce who work longer hours and have to make sacrifices, every sector and profession does in the current climate."

    You can email your views to locallive@bbc.co.uk.

    Bristol march 12:21: Chris Kelly BBC News, Bristol

    The Bristol march slowly winds down through the centre of the city with shouts of "Gove Out" and banging drums and there's some bemused motorists caught up in the long line of protesters.

    Bristol march

    It does seem smaller than last time but people are no less angry at their situation.

    Latest on strike 12:26: Emma Hallett BBC News

    A number of marches and rallies organised by the NUT are under way across England and Wales.

    Teachers are striking in protest against changes to their pay, pensions and working conditions.

    The NUT says the walkout was a "last resort", but it has been criticised by the government which says "parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the government's measures to let heads pay good teachers more".

    London march starts 12:28:

    TfL Traffic News tweets: Central London - the demo is now making it's way down Regent Street heading towards Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Sq and Parliament Sq

    Rally in Essex 12:30: Laurence Cawley BBC News

    Teachers are getting ready to march through Chelmsford.

    NUT strike in Chelmsford

    About 100 people have gathered for a procession through the city.

    'Financial impact' 12:33:

    Self-employed Eynsham mum Hannah Jago told BBC Radio Oxford although her son being off school wasn't a "major issue", it had caused disruption.

    "Now I've got to think does he come with me, do I have to rearrange things - financially that impacts on me," she said.

    Birmingham march 12:36: Phil Mackie Reporter, BBC Radio 5 live

    Some 700 to 800 teachers are marching through Birmingham.

    NUT march in Birmingham
    School closures 12:40:

    The Department for Education says it believes "well under a quarter" of schools in England were closed.

    Your views: 'Unacceptable' 12:44:

    Ying Johnson, from Bracknell, emails: "I was only told that my son's school would be closed on Tuesday! It is unacceptable!"

    Norwich rally 12:46: Laura Devlin BBC News, East

    Speeches are taking place outside The Forum in Norwich, with lots of whistle blowing.

    NUT strike in Norwich
    Talks ongoing 12:49: Katherine Sellgren BBC News education reporter

    Education Secretary Michael Gove is currently holding discussions about performance-related pay, pensions and conditions with seven teaching unions - NASUWT, ATL, ASCL, NAHT, UCAC and Voice, as well as the NUT.

    Berkshire strikes 12:51:

    More than 90 schools across Berkshire have been closed or partially closed today, according to local councils.

    NUT members march through Reading

    Meanwhile, about 100 NUT members have marched through the streets of Reading.

    Strike action 'not taken lightly' 12:54:

    Anne Swift, executive member for the NUT in North Yorkshire, tells BBC Radio York that all teachers accept the industrial action is inconvenient for children and parents.

    "We very much regret that. Teachers never take strike action lightly and it's not something we want to be doing today. We all want to be in our classrooms working with the girls and boys and helping them to make progress."

    However, she adds that teachers "need to stand up for education and we need to let parents and the wider public know what's going on".

    'Too much to bear' 12:58: Alex Dibble, BBC Radio Merseyside

    Young teachers have told me they're leaving the profession because the job's becoming too much to bear.

    NUT rally in Liverpool

    They want Education Secretary Michael Gove to promise better working conditions and pensions for those staying in the profession.

    School closures in Wales 13:01:

    The BBC understands there are 472 partial closures and 297 full closures in Wales, out of a total of more than 1,700 schools.

    Your views: 'Leaving profession' 13:05:

    Amy, from Manchester, emails: "I am a recently qualified teacher who gets consistently 'Outstanding' judgements.

    "The children in my classes make good progress and I work within a supportive team of excellent practitioners - parents are appreciative of my efforts and my job is rewarding.

    "However I am striking today - and leaving the profession entirely in two weeks' time - because of the issues that the NUT is striking over today.

    "I cannot contemplate raising a family whilst working 60 hours a week - I cannot contemplate a future of teaching a curriculum that is unfit for purpose."

    Your views 13:10: via Facebook

    BBC News asked on Facebook for your thoughts on today's strike.

    Lynn Smith writes: Children are not "suffering", they are having a day off while teachers strike for one day to try to protect our education system!

    While Justin Evans says: We should fine them [the teachers] for our kids being out of school lol

    'It's a real crisis' 13:13:

    Ian Murch, NUT treasurer, who is attending a rally in Bradford's Centenary Square, tells BBC Look North that teachers have to strike as Education Secretary Michael Gove has made "no concrete offer" to meet the union's concerns over pay, pensions and workload.

    Ian Murch

    "It's a real crisis. It is about our pay and our pensions - they are part of it. But we're concerned about the future of the education system."

    School closures 13:17:

    The Department for Education, which is responsible for schools in England only, says officials are trying to determine the number of schools affected but the process is very labour-intensive and time-consuming.

    'Noisy' march 13:20: Caroline Gall BBC News

    A very noisy NUT march, involving about 800 teachers, has been winding its way slowly through Birmingham city centre.

    NUT march in Birmingham
    'Absolutely shattered' 13:26:

    The majority of teachers are on strike at Newcastle's Heaton Manor School.

    Speaking to BBC Newcastle, teacher Alex Marshall said: "The bigger picture is that it's not just about pay and conditions. It's about standing up for education.

    "It's trying to stop some of the changes that are having a detrimental impact. The obvious example would be having non-qualified teachers in schools.

    "Also, it doesn't benefit anyone to have a teacher that's absolutely shattered in front of 30 or 35 kids."

    Teaching union 'tactics' 13:31: Jack Fiehn BBC Surrey political reporter

    Fred Greaves, from the Surrey NUT, was with teachers marching through Guildford today.

    He said there were differing opinions between teaching unions over the right tactics to use.

    Teachers marching in Guildford

    "The other unions are thinking that if they hang on long enough then Michael Gove will speak to them, and he's not doing that."

    Performance-related pay 13:41:

    Education Secretary Michael Gove has said introducing performance-related pay would be a way of raising teaching standards.

    The idea is designed to bring automatic pay rises to an end, with schools given the flexibility to offer higher salaries to their best teachers.

    But the NUT says the fear is, with budgets so tight, it would be difficult to reward the best teachers without penalising those who are struggling.

    Latest on strike 13:45: Emma Hallett BBC News

    Some schools in England and Wales are closed as teachers join rallies and picket lines in a strike over pay, pensions and conditions.

    The NUT called the one-day strike, but said it was a "last resort".

    The Department for Education believes "well under a quarter" of schools in England were closed by the action.

    'Not taken lightly' 13:49:

    Sheena Wheatley, from the National Union of Teachers, was part of a picket line at Bilborough College in Nottingham.

    Sheena Wheatley

    "We don't take strike action lightly as teachers or in the NUT but we really do feel that the future of our young people's education is at stake here and we want to make a stand on their behalf," she said.

    'Alternative methods' 13:53:

    David Long, a teacher from Oldham, said while he "fully supports" the NUT's issues, he is not taking strike action.

    He added he was "disappointed" a small group of his colleagues have chosen to strike, adding it "is a poor example to set the students we teach".

    "I firmly believe that as teachers we should not legally be allowed to strike due to the harm it does not only to the education of the students missing out today but to their parents who have to make ad hoc childcare arrangements," he said.

    "The unions need to find alternative methods to encourage the government to negotiate with them."

    13:59: 'Playground bullies'

    David Huffadine-Smith writes on BBC Northampton's Facebook page: "By striking, the teachers are disrupting the education of the children that they are supposed to teach.

    "They are also disrupting the lives of working parents, and indirectly disrupting the businesses that those parents work for. All to satisfy the ego of well-paid teachers who are in a secure job for life with a fat pension at the end of it.

    "I would describe the striking teachers as playground bullies, who should be dealt with accordingly."

    Teacher audio diary 14:03:

    Sally Gould, a maths teacher in Manchester, recorded her daily routine for BBC Radio 5 live ahead of the strike action.

    Maths lesson

    She told the programme: "To be a modern teacher I have to prepare in a week what most managers in an office would prepare in a year."

    London march 14:09:

    More than 1,500 striking teachers marched in central London today in protest at government changes to the education system.


    Amanda Bird told BBC Spotlight reporter Hamish Marshall she has two children and lives some distance from Stoke Hill Infants School in Exeter.

    Amanda Bird

    "The one at the junior school is still at school, but the infants aren't. They're meant to be a federation so why aren't they all striking, if they're going to strike?

    "I have friends who have had to find childcare at a moment's notice. I think it's really inconvenient. If we want to take the day off, we get fined for it."

    Oxford demonstration 14:17:

    Oxford City Guide tweets: @BBCOxford Protesters take to Cornmarket as part of #NUT demonstrations

    NUT demonstration in Oxford
    Link pay to performance 14:20:

    The Department for Education says a Populus poll last year found that 61% of respondents supported linking teachers' pay to performance and 70% either opposed the strikes or believed that teachers should not be allowed to strike at all.

    'Protecting education' 14:23:

    Ian Williams who is a teacher and also the NUT spokesman for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said the action had been taken to protect the provision of education for young people.

    "We don't take it lightly and we're concerned about the disruption to schools.

    "But we fear that things will get much worse for pupils if our concerns are not addressed."

    'Making children suffer' 14:27:

    One mother of a child at Allerton Primary School in Bradford told BBC Look North that the teachers' strike is "absolutely ridiculous".

    "I understand they have their views, but they are just making children suffer because they are having to miss a day at school. They're not thinking about the children."

    'Get in the real world' 14:30:

    Defence Minister Anna Soubry has added her voice to the government's argument that the strike is "unnecessary and wrong".

    "Taking strike action should be an absolute last resort. The NUT, in constituencies like mine [Broxtowe], has gone on strike [and] picketed schools that want to look at becoming academies. That is the reality of a union that is living back in 70s and needs to get into the real world," she said.

    'Mandate for industrial action?' 14:34:

    Alf Crossman, senior lecturer in industrial relations at the University of Surrey, told BBC Surrey that questions could be raised over the length of time between the ballot and strike.

    "If you look at the last ballot you have a 40% turnout which is not a majority, and 90% vote in favour of industrial action," he said.

    "The NUT is quite right in saying, 'we've met the requirements of the legislation, therefore, the industrial action we're taking today is lawful'.

    "But you could argue that it's almost two years ago when that last ballot was taken - is that really a mandate for industrial action today?"

    'Disillusioned' teachers 14:39:

    Rachel Berry is a teacher at Mason Moor Primary in Southampton - one of more than 130 schools and colleges which are closed or partially closed in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight today.

    Rachel Berry, teacher at Mason Moor

    During a rally in the city she told BBC Radio Solent: "I can't see myself lasting very long in the profession, even though I love it when I'm in the class with the children.

    "There's just too much to do. I'm working 50 to 55 hours a week and I still can't get everything done that's being asked of me."

    Your view: 'Can't have both ways' 14:44:

    Nick has emailed the BBC to give his opinion on the strike.

    "It seems that a lot of voices on here, that object to the teachers' strike, are parents that seem more concerned with their ability to do a full day at work. Yet, these are the same parents that scream from the rafters the minute they feel their child's education isn't what they expect it to be. It can't be had both ways."

    What is your view? email locallive@bbc.co.uk.

    In the papers - 'Strained relations' 14:47:

    A leaked memo signed by teaching union NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates claims that some members have faced threats, insults and intimidation from members of the NUT, The Telegraph reports.

    Both unions took part in a series of regional strikes in the autumn term, but the NASUWT decided not to take part in today's national action.

    An NUT spokeswoman has insisted the union had not been running a national campaign against the NASUWT.

    14:51: Arwyn Jones BBC Wales education correspondent

    Education in Wales is almost entirely devolved apart from the pensions and pay of teachers.

    There was a report earlier this month that came to the conclusion it should be devolved to Wales but that was overwhelmingly opposed by teaching unions due to fears of lower pay.

    The other side of that argument is that with schools in Wales operating very differently to England, the pay should reflect that.

    The Welsh government will be considering those proposals over the next few weeks but it strikes me it is not very high on their list of things they would like to see devolved.

    'Great turn out' 14:54:

    Nick Wigmore tweets: #standup4edu #NUTstrike a great turn out and solid support from NUT members standing up for education in Manchester pic.twitter.com/l0L5HbQrrU

    NUT rally in Manchester
    MP view 14:57:

    Rob Wilson, Conservative MP for Reading East, told BBC Radio Berkshire the NUT is not interested in talking to the government.

    Rob Wilson

    "It seems that this is one union that is determined to strike and cause disruption to parents," he added.

    Workload 'unbearable' 15:06:

    Bodrul Amin, co-secretary at Luton's NUT branch, told BBC Three Counties teachers had seen a "steep rise" in their workload under the current government and it was becoming "unbearable".

    "A lot of people don't really understand what it's like to be a teacher. Teachers are finding it very, very difficult to carry on doing their jobs. As a result, it's the children that suffer," he said.

    'Fine for non attendance' 15:12:

    Ian Moores tweets: @BBCWalesNews How is it teachers can go on strike & believe it won't affect the pupils' education? They should be fined for non attendance.

    Luton demo 15:15: Katy Lewis BBC News

    About 100 people assembled at Market Hill in Luton earlier to hear speakers from the local branch of the NUT, plus representatives of other unions such as the FBU, PCS and the TUC.

    Luton NUT march
    'Huge impact' 15:19:

    Anna McKenzie has two children at the same primary school in Walsall - one is attending classes today while the other is off.

    She told BBC WM the strike was having a "huge impact" on her family because she was having to take a day off.

    "Me and my partner run our own company so we both need to be in work, if we don't work we don't have money coming in."

    Rally speech 15:23: Richard Moss Political editor, North East & Cumbria

    NUT member Tony Dowling told an assembled crowd at Newcastle's Grey's Monument he was striking because he "cares about children".

    NUT rally, Grey's Monument, Newcastle
    Latest on strikes 15:30: Emma Hallett BBC News

    The one-day teachers' strike is coming to an end having closed or partially closed thousands of schools across England and Wales.

    Union leaders said early indications were the strike had been well-supported.

    But the action has been condemned by the Department for Education.

    'Have to take action' 15:32:

    Some parents say the strike is costing them a day's pay - but the NUT's general secretary, Christine Blower, tells the BBC her members have no choice.

    Christine Blower of the National Union of Teachers
    Parent's reaction 15:37:

    Parent Catherine Burnett, from Exeter, told BBC Spotlight she has three children in different schools.

    Parent Catherine Burnett

    "We had quite short notice so I have had to re-arrange my day at work. It's difficult having one at school, and two not at school."

    'Double standard' 15:43:

    A mother of a pupil from the Excel Academy in Sneyd Green, Stoke-on-Trent, told BBC Radio Stoke the teachers' decision to strike was a "double standard".

    She said: "If I had kept her off school they'd have something to say, I could even get fined.

    "If they decide to shut down and say the kids can't come in we just have to take it, even if it means us using up our own leave from work."

    'Unfair' working 15:46: Jessica Parker, Politcal Reporter, BBC South

    Teachers tell me the physical demands of running a classroom means that working until they're 68 is unrealistic.

    They say it wouldn't be fair on staff or the children.

    'Schools chaotic' 15:48:

    Ken Rustidge, NUT national executive member for Lincolnshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull, tells BBC Look North that teachers are striking because many schools are "in great difficulty, almost chaotic".

    Ken Rustidge
    South round-up 15:50: Sue Paz BBC News, South

    NUT strikes have closed or partially closed more than 300 schools in the south of England, while hundreds of teachers have joined rallies and marches in the region, including in Southampton, Portsmouth, Reading and Oxford.

    NUT rally in Southampton
    'Strike caused disruption' 15:52: Hywel Griffith BBC Wales correspondent

    Clearly the strike has caused obvious disruption by the number of schools closed or partially closed, and teachers were very vocal in their concerns.

    These were primarily over the workload rather than pensions and pay, probably because they know workers in both the private and public sectors have settled for far worse terms.

    It has been tricky for NUT Cymru because while they lobbied outside the Welsh Assembly, their ire is aimed at the UK government in London, particularly UK government Education Secretary Michael Gove whose name was booed whenever it was mentioned at a rally outside the Welsh Assembly.

    This is because while the Welsh government has responsibility for education, teachers' pay and conditions is still decided by the UK government.

    Your views 15:56: via Facebook

    Thanks to those of you who have shared your opinions and comments with us on the BBC News Facebook page.

    Rachel Woodruffe Villatte writes: I as a parent fully support the teachers! Why doesn't the government stop interfering and leave the running of the schools to those who are best qualified to run them and know what they are doing, that being the teaching staff, half of the MPs send their kids to over-priced private schools anyway!

    While Mark Jennings writes: Should be happy they've got a job, especially those hours and holidays. 100,000's aren't so lucky!


    Thanks for reading our coverage of the teachers' strike and to those who contributed with photos or comments.

    You can read more about the industrial action here or see what others have had to say on the BBC News Facebook page.


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