PUPILS at dozens of schools across East Lancashire will have the day off tomorrow as their teachers go out on strike.
Teachers across the country will be protesting against the government's proposed 2.45% pay increase - an award they say amounts to a real-terms pay cut because of national inflation rates of more than 4%.
It will be the first national teachers' strike since 1987.
Peter Morgan, strategic director of children's services at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said: "Decisions on school closures are the responsibility of the head teacher in consultation with their chair of governors.
"Any decision to close a school is only made as a last resort when there is no alternative available.
"In line with national guidance, all schools in Blackburn with Darwen have looked at how they can stay open for pupils.
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"However, after carrying out a careful risk assessment, a number have decided they will have to close and parents will now be informed.
"In most cases the schools will remain open to other staff who are not on strike so that they can continue to plan and prepare lessons."
Lancashire County Council workers have warned that schools do not necessarily have to inform the council if they are intending to shut their doors for the day.
County Councillor Vali Patel, cabinet member for schools, said: "It is unfortunate that the situation has reached the point where teachers' unions feel that industrial action is unavoidable with the disruption to schools that inevitably follows.
"Schools largely run themselves, so head-teachers must decide how to react to the NUT strike, based on the particular circumstances at their individual schools.
"The County Council will, of course, offer support, but they will make their own decisions.
"In the event that a school has to close, it will be the parents' responsibility to look after their children, as they would on any other day they were out of school."
SCHOOLS SET TO CLOSE TOMORROW
- BURNLEY Barden Junior School, Burnley Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School, Burnley St James' Lanhead Church of England Primary School, Burnley St Stephen's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, Burnley Stoneyholme Community Primary School, Burnley Whittlefield Primary School, Cherry Fold Community Primary School, Ridgewood Community High School, St John the Baptist RC Primary, Burnley, St John the Baptist RC Primary, Padiham, Unity College.
- CHORLEY: Buckshw Primary School, Chorley Astley Park, Chorley Southlands HS, Chorley St Peter's CE Primary, Christ Church Charnock Richard CE Primary, Clayton Brook PS, Highfield Primary, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary, St Joseph's Catholic Primary.
- HYNDBURN: Accrington St John with St Augustine CE Primary, Belthorn Foundation Primary, Broadfield School, Mount Carmel RC High, Oswaldtwistle Moor End Community Primary, Rishton Methodist, St Charles' RC Primary, Rishton.
- PENDLE: Barnoldswick Gisburn Road Primary, Barnoldswick West Craven High Tech College, Barrowford St Thomas CE Primary, Colne Lord Street School, Earby Springfield Primary, Nelson Lomeshaye Junior School.
- RIBBLE VALLEY: Bowland HS, Clitheroe RGS, Langho and Billington St Leonard's CE, Ribblesdale HS, Thorneyholme RC Primary.
- ROSSENDALE: Bacup Nursery School, Bacup St Saviour's Community Primary, Haslingden HS Specialist ARts College, Northern Primary, Rawtenstall St Paul's Constable Lee CE Primary, Whitworth Community HS.
- BLACKBURN with DARWEN: Ashleigh, Audley Infants, Audley Juniors, Avondale, Beardwood, Blackburn the Redeemer, Cedars, Crosshill, Daisyfield, Darwen Moorland, Darwen Vale, Edgworth, Feniscowles, Griffin Park, Hawthorns, Holy Trinity, Intack, Longshaw Infants, Longshaw Juniors, Lower Darwen, Meadowhead Infants, Meadowhead Juniors, Newfield (exempted), Our Lady & St John, Pleckgate, Roe Lee Park, Sacred Heart RC, Shadsworth Infants, Shadsworth Juniors, St Aidan's CE, St Alban's RC, St Antony's RC, St Barnabas & St Paul CE, St Cuthbert's RC. St Francis, St James CE, St James CE, Darwen, St James CE, Lower Darwen, St Joseph's, St Luke & St Philips, St Matthew's CE, St Michael with St John CE, St Paus CE, St Pauls RC, St Silas CE, St Stephen's Infants, St Stephen's Juniors, St Thomas, St Wilfrids, Sudell, Sunnyhurst Centre, Wensley Fold CE, Witton Park.