TEACHING assistants across Redbridge have voted for strike action in an ongoing dispute over pay, meaning many schools could be forced to close.

Staff who are members of general workers' union GMB first walked out of Roding Primary School in Woodford Green on March 10 and staged a second strike a week later.

The school closed completely during the first strike and its nursery closed during the second walkout.

A consultative ballot has now been held and it has been confirmed that school support staff have voted to hold further strikes after the Easter break at Roding and other schools around Redbridge.

Union members claim they are not receiving the right pay for their work and that support staff in other boroughs have received pay rises to reflect their contribution to schools.

The local authority has said it is "dismayed" by the strike action and has denied claims school governors are not open to discussion with union members.

It has also said it would not be practical to carry out individual pay reviews for schools and a review has already been carried out for the borough.

Sandra Vincent, of the Redbridge branch of GMB, has said staff were left with no choice but to take industrial action.

She said: "GMB members apologise to the parents and carers for having to take this action and would willingly deal with another option if it was feasibly possible."