More than 100 schools hit by teachers' strike on October 17
ANGRY parents have hit back at striking teachers as dozens of schools prepare to close across the county on Thursday.
At least 105 schools, including 25 in Gloucester, will be fully or partially closed.
Teachers are striking due to changes to pensions which will see many work for longer, pay more into pension funds and get less when they retire.
A row has also developed between unions the NUT, NASUWT and the Government over a dismantling of the national pay system and plans by Education Secretary Michael Gove to introduce a longer school day and year. Parents who have faced £60 fines for non-attendance for pupils in term time are furious, claiming the strike action smacks of double standards.
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Many will now have to fork out for expensive childcare, take children into work or take a day off.
Julie Rudd runs her own wedding planning business Kiss Me Cake and will have to take both her children, who are aged 10 and 12, into work as their Barnwood schools will be shut.
"Who is going to get the fines for non-attendance on Thursday?" she said. "If we all went on strike then the country would come to a standstill.
"It is a good job I am self-employed and will be available to have my children, as both my children's schools are closed.
"It is a problem as I am setting up a big wedding on Thursday and will now have my children in tow."
Barnwood CofE Primary School will be closed to all pupils and Barnwood Park Arts College is only staying open for those in Year 11.
It is a familiar story across the city.
Churchdown Academy is shut to all pupils, as is Abbeymead Primary School and both primary schools in Elmbridge.
Pupils in all years except 11 to 13 will have a day off at Beaufort Academy, as is the case at Gloucester Academy.
But younger pupils from Years 7 to 10 can go in at Sir Thomas Rich's School in Longlevens.
St Peter's Catholic High School will be shut to all except those in Years 7 and 8.
Robinswood Primary School and the new Waterwells Primary Academy are defying the strike and will stay open.
Martin Latham, executive head teacher at both schools, said: "It is up to every individual school to make their own decision about strike action but both Waterwells and Robinswood Primary School will be staying open.
"I can understand why some teachers consider it necessary to take action.
"Changing the terms of a pension halfway through does not seem quite right and many are understandably upset by this but it will be business as usual at both of our schools."
Councillor Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people at the county council, said: "We've been working with schools to get as much information out there as possible to help with alternative arrangements.
"However, I welcome the fact that many Gloucestershire schools are working hard to stay open despite the strike."
For the most up-to-date information, parents should log on to the Citizen website gloucestercitizen. co.uk/education where there will be a full list of the schools which are closing on Thursday.