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Redbridge schools to close during strike action
Strike action by the country's two biggest teaching unions will affect almost every school in Redbridge on Thursday.
Members of NUT and NASUWT, which together account for 90 per cent of all teachers, will walk out in protest over pay and pensions deals.
Around 60 schools will be either closed or partially open on the day as the unions’ bitter row with education secretary Michael Gove continues.
Mr Gove is calling for longer school days and an extended academic year.
He insists the UK’s children are at risk of being left behind those in other countries who work longer academic years.
He also said the proposed changes could benefit working parents who would have to take less time off during the school holidays.
However a spokesman for the NUT said many teachers were already working up to 58 hours every week.
Only a minority of schools - Aldborough E-Act Free School, Avanti Court Primary, Clore Tikva, Coppice Primary, Ilford Jewish and St Bede's Catholic - will stay open on Thursday.
A spokeswoman for the NASUWT said: “Teachers are tired, they are angry. We are only asking Michael Gove to talk to us about our concerns.”
The NUS London regional secretary, Bob Stapley, said: “Here’s a message for Michael Gove: there’s no use taking solace in the very small number of schools not taking part in the strikes. He has to engage with the majority.”
The industrial action in Redbridge is part of national strikes across the country. However, there will be no strike in Wales, as Welsh Secretary Huw Lewis has agreed to hold talks with Welsh teachers.
The NUS said: “That’s all we want - discussions with Michael Gove. Or they could get rid of him and find another minister who will sit down and talk to us.”
The unions say further strikes are being considered if Mt Gove fails to agree to talks.
The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the Department for Education.