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From the picket line

Warm wishes to colleagues taking action today, and to those who are not. Strong values drive both choices.

Russell Hobby (on Twitter), NAHT general secretary

The difference with this strike is that heads are supporting us. I used to feel like heads thought they were inviting in the Grim Reaper when I went into schools. Now they are very welcoming. This Government has done something unions never could and united everyone in schools.

Ray Sirotkin, joint secretary, Lambeth NUT

I don't see why I should have to pay what is essentially a tax - teachers didn't cause the problems in the banking system. It's not fair we should have to bear the brunt. The Government seems to want to pit private sector workers against those in the public sector. But my friends who work in the private sector are supportive.

Bridget Chapman, SEN teacher, London Nautical School

(Public sector workers) are being fleeced for the sins of bankers, who are still walking away with massive bonuses.

Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary

I've got two to three years to go until I retire, so I'm not on strike for me, but for the greater good and for the whole education system. It took a lot of consideration to come out on strike. I care a lot about the school and its community.

Eileen Ross, Lambeth NAHT president and headteacher of Herbert Morrison Primary School, south London

Can you imagine being a 67-year-old PE teacher, taking a class of 30? It wouldn't be good for the children or the profession.

Kim Vollerthun, construction teacher, Cottenham Village College, Cambridgeshire

I can't afford to take home any less pay than I do now. My pension will cost me #163;80-#163;100 extra a month. It will mean I can't afford to live as I do now and might hinder my attempts to get a mortgage.

Pippa Spratt, GMB member and higher level teaching assistant, Herbert Morrison Primary School, south London

We want the strike to demonstrate that ministers' cover has been blown on this. Our members know it's not a generous offer.

Christine Blower, NUT general secretary

I think a lot of people will leave the profession; it's going to be a huge deterrent. You already work long hours and no one goes into the job for the pay.

John Cattermole, headteacher, Wilbury Junior School, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire

When I became a teacher we struggled as a family to make ends meet, but I knew there would be a decent pension at the end of it. I was around during the strikes in 1979 and 1985, and there is more anger now than there was then.

Geoff Fewtrell, ICT teacher and secretary for Cambridgeshire NASUWT.

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