Teacher strike day looms: Toll of schools to shut is 42

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MORE than 40 schools in Calderdale will close tomorrow when teachers walk out in a national strike.

Another 20 will only be partially open due to the industrial action, according to council education spokesman Coun Ashley Evans.

To help parents, the council has published a list of schools it expects to open and close.

All Calderdale secondary schools will be closed, although some have made provisions for planned visits and specialist classes.

So far, according to the council’s list, one primary school has confirmed it will be partly closed. New Road Primary School, Sowerby Bridge, will only be open for year 3 and 4 children. All staff not taking strike action will be at school as normal.

Councillor Evans (Lib-Dem, Warley) said Calderdale Council was monitoring the situation closely to try to ensure parents had all the available information.

He estimated 38 schools were intending to open as usual while 42 would be definitely closing. Details were still awaited from nine others.

Brighouse High School has cancelled an “intensive study” day for Year 12 students and the school will be closed for all pupils in years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12.

Teachers taking part in strike action are expected to attend a rally in Halifax tomorrow morning.

A strike by public sector workers is expected to affect cases at Calderdale Magistrates Court and lead to the closure of Halifax JobCentre.

Meanwhile, several Labour councillors have expressed their backing for the strikes which are over changes to public sector pensions.

They include Jayne Booth (Todmorden) and Dave Young (Calder) and eight Todmorden and Hebden Royd town councillors.

“The strike has been called because the government proposals mean employee pension contributions will increase by at least 50 per cent and the normal retirement age for occupational pensions will increase from 65 to 68,” they said in a statement.

“It has been said that public sector pensions are gold plated but the truth is very different; the average public sector pension paid is between £3,000 and £4,000 per year.”