Teachers in England and Wales have overwhelmingly voted to strike amid a pay dispute but will schools close?

Nine out of 10 teacher members of the National Education Union (NEU) voted in favour of industrial action, passing the 50% ballot turned out required by law.

There will be seven days of walkouts in February and March, according to the largest education union in the UK.

The strikes will begin on February 1 with more than 23,000 schools in England and Wales will be affected.

Bicester Advertiser: Nine out of ten teacher members voted to strike in the pay dispute (PA)Nine out of ten teacher members voted to strike in the pay dispute (PA) (Image: PA)

Will schools close as English and Welsh teachers vote to strike?

Any individual school will only be affected by four of the days since the strikes will be split over regions, according to the NEU.

However, most state schools across the two countries will have to close on the strike days, the Observer was told ahead of the vote.

When are teachers striking in England and Wales?

All eligible NEU members in England and Wales are to strike on February 1 and 2 as well as March 15 and 16.

Members in the Northern, North West, Yorkshire and The Humber regions are expected to strike on February 28. 

Meanwhile, those in the East Midlands, West Midlands, and Eastern regions that are eligible will strike on March 1 and members in London, South East and South West regions will follow on March 2.

More than 300,000 teachers and support staff were asked to vote in the ballot.

READ MORE: Thousands of teachers in England and Wales vote to strike over pay: See which dates

The ballot results, which were announced at 5 pm on Monday, came after Downing Street urged teachers not to strike and inflict “substantial damage” to children’s education.


The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We would continue to call on teachers not to strike given we know what substantial damage was caused to children’s education during the pandemic and it’s certainly not something we want to see repeated.

“We would hope they would continue to discuss with us their concerns rather than withdraw education from children.”

A vote to go on strike shows teachers are not prepared to “stand by” and see the education service “sacrificed” due to “a toxic mix of low pay and excessive workload”, the NEU said.

During an online briefing as the ballot results were announced, Kevin Courtney, joint NEU general secretary, said: “The England teacher ballot result alone is the biggest ballot result of any union in recent times.

“The Government needs to listen, these are big votes for strike action.”

Mary Bousted, joint NEU general secretary, said the results show “the Government that the NEU members will not stand by and see the education service they work so hard for and they care for so much be sacrificed because teachers and support staff are being driven from the profession they love because of a toxic mix of low pay and excessive workload”.