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Teachers' strike disrupts schools across Britain
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Thousands of schools in England and Wales are closed or partially closed on Thursday as teachers go on strike for the first time in over two decades.

Students are seen at a central London school. Around one in five schools in England and Wales will be forced to close or restrict lessons because of the planned teaching strike, the Local Government Association has said.

Around a third of schools will be hit by the action, with up to 2,000 closing and a similar number partially closing, Sky news reported.

The strike called by members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) is over a proposed pay deal. Marches and rallies will be held across Britain, including one in London which is to finish at the Houses of Parliament.

Under the new offer, teachers will get a pay rise of 2.45 percent in September, followed by increases of 2.3 percent for the following two years.

But the NUT says that the rise should be closer to 4 percent which is in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) so that teachers get an increase of at least inflation rate to help boost recruit.

The proposed pay deal would put teachers roughly in the middle bracket of public sector workers including nurses and police officers.

(Xinhua News Agency April 25, 2008)

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