Employers across the UK could be hit today as staff take time off as a result of the nationwide strike by teachers.
Tens of thousands of pupils will be forced to stay at home today as about a third of schools will be closed or partly shut in a row over pay.
Up to 200,000 members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) are taking part in the walkout in protest at the government’s 2.45% pay offer.
NUT leaders have insisted the strike was a last resort and teachers were angry at below-inflation pay increases for the past three years.
Schools minister Jim Knight said: “Many parents will be inconvenienced, some will even have to take time off work, some of that may be unpaid. I think that is hugely regrettable.”
Thousands of civil servants are also on strike today (24 April), joining about 700 coastguard staff who are in the midst of a 24-hour walk-out over pay levels.