Out of 151 local authorities, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton are among the worst 25 in England for GCSE attainment.Read the full story ›
Key findings of a Birmingham City Council report into the alleged islamification of schools named in the so-called 'Trojan Horse' group will be published today.
Former headteacher Ian Kershaw was appointed to work on the investigation in April.
It comes after four schools were placed in special measures by Ofsted, after an anonymous letter earlier this year alleged Muslims with hardline views were attempting to take control of schools in the city.
Council bosses have said there has been disruption to its services today because of strike action.
Frontline services have been running as normal although rubbish collections in the borough have been affected.
Walsall Gala Baths closed at 3pm.
Domestic household waste collections have been disrupted in Fishley/Little Bloxwich, Goscote, Bloxwich North, Harden(part), Sandbank area, Leamore(part), Short Heath and Coppice Farm.
A number of schools are closed, garden waste collections have been suspended and Walsall Leather Museum has been shut all day.
"I would like to apologise to those residents who have been inconvenienced today as a result of the industrial action."Where there has been an impact, such as rubbish collections, we have put plans in place to ensure that the disruption is kept to a minimum and I would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding."
Public sector workers have gathered in Nottingham in a row over pay, pensions, conditions, jobs and spending cuts.
A Leicestershire school has sent a letter to parents telling them they are staying open today despite their teachers supporting the public sector strike action.
St. Peter's Catholic School in Earl Shilton told parents they "strongly support the strike action" but are not walking out because it "would cause too much disruption for our year 6 children's final week."
The school also says it means a lot to them to say farewell to the children who have "been part of our lives for the past seven years."
The Library of Birmingham says it is offering a reduced service today because of the public sector strike action.
It also advises people to check with their local library to see if it is closed.
Contact details for Birmingham libraries can be found here.
Birmingham residents who are expecting rubbish to be collected today have been told it may not be picked up until the weekend ahead of the public sector strikes.
Members of the GMB, Unison, Unite and NUT unions are walking out, meaning many schools will close and council services will come to a halt today.
Birmingham City Council said: Residents who are due to have a rubbish, recycling or green waste recycling collection on Thursday are asked to put their bin, sacks or boxes out for collection as usual.
"If these have not been collected by the end of the day, please leave the rubbish and recycling out for collection – which will be collected during the weekend, so there is no need for residents to report a missed collection as this will not result in a quicker service."
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the strike action and assure residents we will do our best to collect the waste as soon as we can.”
The Secretary of the NUT in Coventry says teaching needs to be a more appealing profession.
Jane Nellist spoke to ITV News Central ahead of the large-scale strikes which are to take place today.
Public sector workers are to strike today in a row over pay, pensions and workload.
Members of the GMB, Unison, Unite and NUT unions are walking out, meaning many schools will close and council service will come to a halt.
It has been described as one of the biggest days of industrial action since 2011.