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'The money is not important, it's the buzz'

The TES asked teachers what they think of their salaries

Terry Creissen, 45, principal of 1,450-pupil Colne community school, Brightlingsea, Essex, for 11 years. Salary: pound;72,453.

"The money is never enough for the amount of time you put in and the responsibility of the job. I regularly do a 15-hour day. I probably work about 80 hours a week, I live on six hours of sleep and I don't watch TV.

It's a juggling act because there are so many balls up in the air.

"It's stressful because it's a lonely job. There are some things you just can't share with other members of staff. But it's still the best job in a school and that's the important thing. The money is not the important thing, it's the buzz you get out of it."

John Peck, 56, head of 400-pupil Peafield Lane primary, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, for 16 years. Salary:pound;50,175.

"It is a wonderful job and I feel I am paid well. I am living in a part of the country with a cost of living probably below the national average and enjoy a good standard of living. I work long hours but have no regrets. I think pay in general is much better than it has been for a long time. My only concern is for new teachers. They are saddled with increasing levels of debt and this is only going to get worse."

Liam Collins, 34, business and law teacher at 1,700-pupil Coopers technology college, Bromley, for five years. Salary pound;34,000.

"I started teaching late - I love my job and think I'm paid well. My only problem is with the size of the student loan (pound;5,500) I have been left with. I am paying back 9 per cent of my net income every month - about Pounds 170 - but this was never explained to me when I took the loan out.

"I may have to move away. I could probably afford to stay in London but my quality of life will suffer. I have friends who have moved to Wales and are able to buy a five-bedroom house for half the cost of our two-bedroom house in the South-east."

Andrea Bradley, 47, teaching assistant at a 100-pupil special school in Hull for 17 years. Salary pound;14,700.

"I don't think that's a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. I feel undervalued. I support the children with the curriculum and also physically: feed them, wash them and dress and undress them for swimming.

"I work 32-and-a-half hours a week but there are occasions when we've had residential trips and we've worked 24 hours a day. It's rewarding work: I love the job but it can be very emotional. Before a job evaluation I was paid Pounds 14,880, which included pound;1,017 special schools' allowance.

They have removed that and now I am only paid during the term time."

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