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What the head teachers say

Jean Heslop, head of Cliff Hill school, Halifax. "We have 40-plus teachers ready to join. I have written to Education Secretary David Blunkett supporting Mr Woodhead, saying his professional and personal life should be judged separately.

"Mr Woodhead can be controversial in the way he says things, but he is moving the issue of standards in the right direction."

Gary Yates, head of Crosshall junior school, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. There is a gap in representing primary needs and so I would be very interested in such a union. There may be a lot of people who don't like Chris Woodhead but he speaks very well on behalf of those teachers who do a good job. I will join. It's exciting, it's new and it's on behalf of the primary sector and that has been undervalued."

Maggie Scott, head of St Matthew's CE primary, Birmingham. "Chris Woodhead has done enormous harm to the teaching profession. I do understand the head of the breakaway union is fed up with whingeing. But we need a body who will go through documents before they are implemented and say 'This is not as effective as it could be'. That is not whingeing."

David Spencer, head of Rackheath primary school, Norwich.

"I would have to be convinced that a new union was necessary. I'll keep my options open."

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