Nine out of ten Tower Hamlets schools to shut tomorrow over strikes

Nine out of ten schools in Tower Hamlets will be shut tomorrow as teachers join the nationwide strike over pensions.

Of the 96 local authority-run primary and secondary schools in the borough, 84 will be closed, eight will only remain partially open and just four will be operating as normal.

The National Union of Teachers confirmed that nearly 2,000 of its members would be on strike in the borough.

Tower Hamlets College said its campuses in Poplar High Road and East India Dock Road will remain open.

A college spokeswoman said: “We will be running workshops for our students.”

Members of the University and College Union, which has a large presence at the college, will be on strike though, they confirmed.

Richard McEwan, UCU secretary at the college, said: “We are going to end up paying 50 per cent more on our pensions and that’s at a time when there’s a pay freeze. We are being asked to pay for the mistakes of bankers.”

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Queen Mary students’ union is supporting the lecturers’ strike, a UCU representative said.

Demonstrations are to be held tomorrow morning outside Tower Hamlets College’s Poplar High Road site, Queen Mary’s Mile End Road campus and in Chrisp Street before the protesters meet the national march in central London.

The demonstrations have the backing of almost 30 unions and will see GPs, court workers, social workers and most town hall staff taking to the picket lines.

Unions have accused the government of unfair increases to pension contributions and of wrongly extending retirement dates.

Education Secretary Michael Gove hit out at the unions and branded them “hardliners, itching for a fight”.

Are you a parent who will be affected by the strikes? Do you support the demonstrations? Please comment below or call the news desk on 020 8478 4444.