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Schools minister: 'Has to be reform in teachers' pensions'

Schools minister Nick Gibb said: "The cost of the teachers' penson alone is forecast to rise...The teacher's pension is still one of the best available and nobody within 10 years of retirement will be affected by these reforms.

"But there do have to be reforms as people are living longer and as a consequence a defined benefit pension is very costly."

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Teachers strike over pensions

Thousands of teachers and lecturers have launched a 24-hour strike in the continuing bitter dispute over the Government's controversial public sector pension reforms, closing schools and disrupting lectures.

The action by members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and University and College Union (UCU) in London has hit over 60 higher and further education institutions and a number of schools.

Parents have been forced to make alternative childcare arrangements or work from home.

Health workers and other public sector staff across the country are staging protests and demonstrations amid continued opposition to the planned pension changes.

Teacher strike to take place

Teachers from schools, colleges and universities across London are expected to take part in strike action today, in protest against changes to their pensions.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) will march through central London before holding a rally outside the Education Department in Westminster.

They say they are opposing Government plans to make teachers and lecturers "pay more, work longer for their pensions and get less in retirement".

The Education Department said it expected a "significant" number of schools in London to be affected, although not as many as during strikes last June and November.

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: "Strikes benefit no one. This deal is as good as it gets and takes the right balance - guaranteeing teachers one the best pensions available but keeping a lid on rising costs for the taxpayer.

"We've been in serious talks for months with unions to address their concerns and reach a final settlement. This strike, ordered by the NUT's leaders, will not now get its members any further forward."