SEVEN schools across St Helens will close tomorrow (Wednesday) due to a strike by the National Union of Teachers over workloads and changes to pay.
Those due to shut include Newton Primary, Garswood Primary, Rainford Brook Lodge Primary, Rainford C of E Primary, St Ann's C of E Primary, St John Vianney Primary and Penkford.
The strike action is likely to cause disruption for working parents whose children attend those schools.
A St Helens Council spokeswoman said all the other schools in the borough would be open. However, some teachers may still walkout at those schools.
Recent figures published by the Government show that teachers in primary schools are working 60 hours a week, claim the National Union of Teachers.
The NUT believes that this is too much and that it is one of the reasons why so many young teachers are leaving the profession.
Avis Gilmore, north west regional secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said they "deeply regret the disruption caused".
She added: “Teachers’ levels of workload are intolerable, their national pay framework has been dismantled so that in every school head teachers and governors have to worry about developing a pay system instead of focussing on teaching and learning and they are being asked to work to the age of 68 or even later for a full pension.
“The NUT recognises that other workers are also having their pensions squeezed and their pay frameworks dismantled.
"We believe that this is wrong too – everyone should be entitled to a decent standard of living now and in retirement.”
The strike follows a series of regional strikes in the autumn where members from the NUT were joined with teachers from fellow teaching union, NASUWT.
Members of the NASUWT will not be taking part in the walk out on Wednesday.
A Department for Education spokesman told the Guardian newspaper it had agreed to union requests for further talks and that meetings had been taking place weekly.
The spokesman said: "Despite this constructive engagement with their concerns, the NUT is taking action that will disrupt parents' lives, hold back children's education and damage the reputation of the profession."