Hundreds of thousands of school children in the London area have been told to stay at home as teachers stage a one-day strike over cost of living allowances.
It is estimated that 1,000 of the capital’s 2,000 schools will be forced to close today, 14 March, with many others restricting timetables as members of the National Union of Teachers stage their first London-wide strike in 30 years.
Education Secretary Estelle Morris has condemned the strike, saying it will make no difference to Government policy and will damage children’s education.
But the NUT says it sends a clear message that the allowance is insufficient. The union said payments should go up by a third, which would take the inner London allowance to £4,000. Metropolitan Police officers get £6,000 a year.
The action follows a ballot last month of 41,000 NUT members in response to a 3.5% increase in the London allowance from April, in line with teachers’ general pay rise.
NUT members are also to stage a march across the centre of London.