Teachers rally to answer the call to strike

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Classrooms across the county were empty today as hundreds of teachers are striking.

Scores of schools were forced to close as members of the National Union of Teachers and National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Teachers staged a one-day strike.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Lancashire County Council was officially informed of more than 100 closures, but many more schools were only opening for specific year groups - mostly for youngsters preparing for exams.

The county has been selected to spearhead what is expected to be the start of a national protest against government changes to teachers’ pay, working conditions and pensions.

The two unions , which cater for more than 90 per cent of the country’s teachers, have joined forces after they said attempts at “meaningful negotiators” with the Government failed.

Todays’ action started with a march through the Preston city centre.

This was followed by a rally on the Flag Market which included keynote speakers including NUT deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney.

Mr Courtney was in the city ahead of the day of action.

He addressed a packed meeting of teachers in Preston on Tuesday night and yesterday visited local schools.

A spokesman for the NUT said: “ The action is being under taken reluctantly - but unless Michael Gove moves to acknowledge the concerns of teachers and parents that fear his changes to pensions, pay and conditions of service will damage education in this country for years to come. “How many will want to become teachers in the future with all these threats in place?”