TEACHERS who went on strike yesterday were supported by thousands of Lancashire parents, according to a union.

Blackburn and Lancashire’s NUT leader Simon Jones said a rally in Preston was a great success yesterday.

In spite of dozens of schools closing across East Lancashire, causing chaos for parents, the NUT said many had spoken out in support.

Mr Jones said thousands of signatures were collected across Lancashire and during the day in Preston. He also said East Lancashire teachers brought with them hundreds of names on a number of school petitons in which parents pledged support.

He said: “There are many parents who understand that we are taking a stand for education. Parents’ main concern is who their children will be taught by long-term.”

As he addressed crowds of hundreds of people in Preston, where all Lancashire’s NUT members had gathered, he said: “We’ve done our best at these talks and tried to make sensible suggestions within a restricted remit on tackling teacher workload.

“However all positive suggestions have been rejected. Gove is simply not interested in resolving this dispute.

“You don’t have to be a teacher to know forcing teachers to work until they are 68 and beyond is a very bad idea.

“Just because other workers in the public and private sectors are having their pensions squeezed is no justification for attacking teachers’ pensions.

“This can only result in a race to the bottom which is in nobody’s interest. A decent standard of living in retirement should be a basic a human right and the hallmark of a civilised society. We need fair pensions for all instead of an explosion of pensioner poverty.

“So our members are absolutely right to stand up for education and send a clear message that we won’t let this happen.”