MORE than 17 per cent of schools in the Test Valley were closed or partially closed during the teachers' strike.

Figures provided by Hampshire County Council (HCC) show that at least 17.7 per cent of the borough’s schools had to close or partially close during the industrial action on February 1.

The true figure is not known because there is no obligation for schools to submit data regarding industrial action to the local authority.

READ MORE: Hampshire headteachers may not know impact of strike action in advance

It could, therefore, be much higher if any of the 19 schools that did not respond were closed or partially closed.

The county council said that 41 of the 60 schools in the Test Valley provided data following the National Education Union (NEU) strike, which showed that 73 per cent of those who responded remained fully open; 24 per cent of those who responded were partially closed; and two per cent of those who responded were fully closed.

A spokesperson for HCC said: “The figures give only an indication of the overall picture for the area.”

National data from the Department for Education suggests more than half of schools in England either closed or partially closed on the first day of walkouts by teachers.

SEE ALSO: Hampshire schools given list of pupils to prioritise during teacher strikes

Teachers in England and Wales, who are members of the NEU, took part in the first national strike since 2016, and have further strikes planned for March.

Up to half a million workers walked out on February 1 in a dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.

The NEU, which has further national strikes planned for March 15 and 16 as well as a regional date for the south-east on March 2, said that ‘education is in crisis’ and that children are losing out because there aren’t enough teachers.

It says that teachers work more unpaid overtime than any other profession, with working weeks of 55 to 60 hours being ‘common place’.

The union says that a teacher who started working in 2010 and who made ‘normal progress up the pay scale’ has lost more than £64,000 in real terms.

A statement issued by Dr Mary Bousted and Kevin Courtney, joint general secretaries of the NEU, said: "We have continually raised our concerns with successive education secretaries about teacher and support staff pay and its funding in schools and colleges, but instead of seeking to resolve the issue they have sat on their hands.

"It is disappointing that the Government prefers to talk about yet more draconian anti-strike legislation, rather than work with us to address the causes of strike action.

"This is not about a pay rise but correcting historic real-terms pay cuts. Teachers have lost 23 per cent in real-terms since 2010, and support staff 27 per cent over the same period. The average five per cent pay rise for teachers this year is some seven per cent behind inflation. In the midst of a cost of living crisis, that is an unsustainable situation."