The Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has written to schools to advise headteachers that they could dock the pay of NUT and NASUWT members of the taking part in action short of a strike, following advice from Government lawyers.
Mr Gove said work-to-rule action which has been taking place since October over a range of issues including pay, pensions, job losses and workload, was threatening the quality of pupils' education.
In his letter, he said: "I respect the right of teachers to take industrial action, but this action short of a strike lacks a clear purpose or even a set of coherent aims.
"The legal position is clear: teachers who are following this industrial action are very likely to be in breach of their contracts. Pay deductions represent a lawful response, and the advice sets out how deductions can be made in a proportionate and reasonable way".
More top news
A survey showing the number of 14-17 years olds who have tried the products has raised questions about their appeal to young people.
Advertising agency chief executive for Europe Chris Hirst takes a look at Labour's business manifesto ahead of the General Election.
A touching note from a passenger thanking a pilot for getting her home safely in the wake of the Germanwings tragedy has gone viral.