A MAJOR rally is being planned for Wednesday as striking teachers walk out of their classrooms in a row over pay and conditions.
Teachers will gather at Guildhall Square on Wednesday to demonstrate as part of the inductions action that will force the closure of schools across Hampshire.
Already 38 schools across Southampton and Hampshire have announced they will shut completely or partially as teachers walk out in the ongoing dispute with education minister Michael Gove.
Ludlow Junior, St Monica Junior, Bassett Green Primary, Bevois Town Primary, Freemantle Community Academy, Moorlands Primary, Great Oaks and Vermont are the Southampton schools that will be closed completely.
Head teachers at another 12 Southampton schools say they will be open whatever happens.
Braishfield Primary is among five Hampshire schools that have already said they will close totally.
Teachers are striking over a number of issues including increasing workload in the face of a one per cent pay rise and a hike in pension contributions.
Southampton secretary for the National Union of Teachers (NUT) Pete Sopowski said: “We would want to see those teachers who have taken industrial action out at the rally to show the strength of feeling in the profession.
“We have a long history of standing up for our profession. If we don’t no one else will.”
Teachers are being asked to gather at 11.30am at Guildhall Square where they will hear from a number of speakers.
The NUT says they have been left with little choice but to strike after Michael Gove refused to negotiate over the key issues.
However, that claim was rejected by the Department for Education.
A statement said that meetings had been taking place and condemned the strike action as “damaging”.