THOUSANDS of schoolchildren in Burton and South Derbyshire were today spending the day at home as teachers went on strike.
Parents have been forced to hastily make alternative arrangements, with every secondary school in the region experiencing some form of disruption.
The situation at primary schools is slightly different, with some managing to remain open for the day.
Unions have delivered on their promise of a strike, unhappy over current pay, pensions and working conditions, with the decision and almost last-minute announcements of school closures leaving many parents frustrated,
Pupils at the biggest schools in both Burton and South Derbyshire – de Ferrers Academy and John Port School – are today at home, with only sixth form students at the Etwall school required to attend.
Head teachers have said the decision to close was taken reluctantly but in the interests of health and safety.
Laura Francis, from Newhall, has children at the William Allitt School and Newhall Infant School, which have both been forced to close, meaning she has had to take unpaid leave for the day.
She said: “It’s extremely frustrating. Lots of parents are in my situation and are not happy about it. William Allitt was closed on Thursday and Friday because of inset days. It’s one thing after another. I don’t think they appreciate parents have jobs.”
Lisa Harrison, from Hanbury, was today working from home with one of her children affected by the strike and another at school as normal.
She said: “I have one child at John Taylor High School who is affected and one at Needwood Primary School who isn’t.
“I have had to make arrangements. It’s a bit of a pain, especially when there’s this big push for parents not to take kids out of school to go on holiday. It’s a little galling then at four days’ notice to say they’re going on strike.
“Luckily, I’m self-employed and I can work from home but I definitely won’t get as much work done as I would normally. Hopefully one day will be enough and they will prove their point.”