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Quotes from today's secondary chalkface

"No one else would go to work in an office and be told to f*** off and be expected to put up with it." Head of history, four years' experience.

"The reason we have photos up in the staffroom is because we don't know who half the staff are now." Advanced skills teacher, 10 years in present school.

"Parents do come in upset, angry, expressing a sense of injustice. If you take the time to listen, to be calm and hear them out they eventually confess that they are struggling with discipline. Their children are out of control. Their partners have left. They can't pay the bills. They are fragile, volatile." English teacher, 10 years' experience.

"We don't want to become teachers, but we have sympathy for them." Year 10 pupil.

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