HUNDREDS of Woodroffe schoolchildren and their parents will be affected when teachers go on strike on Thursday.

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) voted in favour of a national walkout.

It is in protest to the Government’s proposed pension changes which would leave teachers working longer, paying in more and receiving less when they retire.

The Lyme Regis school said it has ‘no choice’ but to close to pupils in years 7, 8, 9, and 10 but remain open to sixth formers, although some lessons may still be affected.

Year 11 students will not be affected because they have already left school after their GCSEs.

Woodroffe is one of at least 84 schools in Dorset that will be closed or partially closed.

Parent Paul Allen, who has two daughters at the school, has blasted the decision and called the pensions row a ‘trivial matter’.

All parents received a letter explaining the situation from chairman of the governors Peter Fortnam.

Mr Fortnam said: “Like most other schools in the country, Woodroffe has had to consider very carefully whether it can stay open and a full risk assessment has been undertaken to consider the extent to which it is likely to be affected by the action.”

He added: “Let me assure you that the senior leadership team has spent a long time exploring ways to keep the school open for as many students as possible in order to attempt to ameliorate the disruption to parents.”

Mr Allen’s 16-year-old daughter is in year 11 and has just sat her GCSEs, and his 14-year-old daughter in year 9 has just finished her SATs exams.

He said: “They are both very bright kids and doing very well, which is why I’m so annoyed that they are taking strike action over such a spurious issue.

“They will argue that because GCSEs and SATs have finished it won’t affect the majority of children, but that’s not the point.”

Dorset County Council has encouraged schools to stay open but if unavoidable to give as much notice as possible.

Mr Allen, 40, has written to headteacher Dr Richard Steward to complain.

He said: “Is the school going to fund childcare arrangements or reimburse busy parents who will be forced to take a day’s annual leave to be with their children when they should be in school?”

Mr Allen, who lives in Essex while his daughters live with their mother in Lyme Regis, works as a consultant arboriculturist in the private sector.

He said: “It’s about time teachers (along with all other public sector workers), along with the rest of us, should stop thinking they are some special case and just be grateful that they have a job, that is as secure as the rest of ours (with massive paid holiday entitlements) and get on with what you are paid for and teach our children.”

St Michael’s Primary School in Lyme Regis, Charmouth Primary School, and Mrs Ethelston’s Primary School in Uplyme are all unaffected.