NUT general secretary Christine Blower said: “Teachers are being undermined by a government whose almost daily criticisms and erosion of working conditions and pay, coming on top of previous attacks on pensions, are unacceptable.

“This negative approach to the profession has to stop. No other profession comes under such continual scrutiny and no other profession has accountability systems based on so little trust.”

There was a turnout of 27 per cent at the ballot, with 82.5 per cent of those voting in favour of industrial action.

The result poses significant disruption to schools in England and Wales later this term.

Thousands of schools closed just over a year ago, in June 2011, when the NUT took strike action over pensions and pay.

The general secretary of the NASUWT, another big teachers’ union, said the threatened strikes reflected “two years of sustained assault from the government which has been deeply damaging to teacher morale, as well as to recruitment and retention”.

The NUT and the NASUWT have announced they will campaign together to tackle what is seen as “an onslaught of attacks on the teaching profession”.

The Department for Education was unimpressed, however.

A spokesman told the BBC: “Industrial action would disrupt pupils’ education, hugely inconvenience parents and will damage the profession’s reputation in the eyes of the public.”

Image: Getty