A total of 1,700 school teachers in Barking and Dagenham are set to support the national strike next month, a union has claimed.

The strikes will hit every school in the borough and many will be forced to close, according to the National Education Union (NEU).

Seven days of strikes are planned to start on February 1, though any individual school should only be affected by four of them.

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Thousands of NEU members have voted to support strike action across the country.

Dominic Byrne, secretary for the NEU's Barking and Dagenham district and a teacher in the borough, said teacher vacancies "are soaring".

He added: "Due to low pay and workload, teachers are being forced out of the profession.

"The government now has a choice to fund a fair genuine pay rise or face strike action on a scale not seen in decades."

According to the NEU, teachers have been offered a 5 per cent pay rise on average but regional officer Glenn Kelly said this represented a real terms pay cut of 7pc when factoring in the rising cost-of-living.

He added: "Why should these public sector workers who dedicate themselves to teaching our children have to come to work worrying if they can afford to pay the rent or mortgage or if they can afford to put the heating on at home as they mark the children’s homework?"

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said: "It is deeply disappointing for children and parents that NEU teacher members have voted in favour of walking out.

"Talks with union leaders are ongoing and any strike action from one union will have a damaging impact on pupils’ education and wellbeing, particularly following the disruption experienced over the past two years.

"We have already met the unions’ request for an additional £2 billion in school funding, which will take real terms spending on schools to its highest level in history."

Barking and Dagenham Council has been contacted for comment.