ANGRY teachers clashed with the Government last night as Britain's biggest classroom union threatened a national strike in protest at Tony Blair's school reforms.
The National Union of Teachers savaged the Prime Minister's controversial city academies programme and vowed to fight his Education Bill.
But the Government hit back, condemning the NUT's "retrograde" decision and accusing the union of putting children's education at risk.
Delegates at the NUT's annual conference in Torquay voted to step up their campaign against the Bill, which sets out moves to give business and faith groups a bigger role running schools.
They voted overwhelmingly in favour of a motion which raised the prospect of industrial action.
Martin Reed, from the NUT's national executive, said Education Secretary Ruth Kelly had misjudged the opposition to the reforms.
"Many in Government thought we would not fight," he said.
"Big mistake Mrs Kelly, we will."
The teachers accused the Government of undermining comprehensive education, and demanded a national publicity campaign to persuade parents to oppose the reforms.
They passed a motion which called on the union's leadership to "explore the circumstances under which national industrial action, up to and including national strike action, could be taken to highlight the strength of opposition to the Education Bill".