MORE than half of Bury’s schools will be completely or partially closed tomorrow as teachers strike over pay, pensions and working hours.

Last month the National Union of Teachers (NUT) announced their members would stage a fresh national strike.

In total 15 schools in the borough will be completely closed and a further 33 are set to be partially closed, the latest information released by Bury Council suggests.

Schools will contact parents with any updates and those requiring further information should get in touch with the school directly, council education chiefs have said. 

The NUT accuse Education Secretary Michael Gove of “persistent refusals” to address their complaints and first balloted members around three years ago.

The long-running row also lead to industrial action last June which saw many schools in Bury close.

The Derby High is among the secondary schools closed because the school has more NUT members among its staff than any other in Bury.

Helen Andrews, secretary of Bury NUT, said: “We suspended strike action in November because there was a suggestion that Mr Gove might talk to us, but no talks have happened.

“Now we are getting to a point where you have a teaching profession which is totally demoralised, the rate of teachers leaving within five years of coming into the profession is increasing, and there is a looming shortage of teachers.

“We are clearly not being listened to or being treated as professionals. Education is in crisis.”

There will be no picket lines in Bury tomorrow but scores of teachers from the borough will march through Manchester city centre with colleagues from across Greater Manchester.

A proposed one-day national walkout in November by the NUT and the NASUWT was called off and the NASUWT has decided not to take part in tomorrow's walkout.

A spokesman for the Department for Education (DfE) said: "Parents will struggle to understand why the NUT is pressing ahead with strikes over the Government's measures to let heads pay good teachers more.

"They called for talks to avoid industrial action, we agreed to their request, and talks have been taking place weekly.

"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."

Today, David Cameron’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing the Prime Minister was calling on teachers not to strike because “it disrupts children’s education and children’s families”.

For information about which schools are set to be completely or partially closed: click here.