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Why do you bother coming to these conferences?

Martin Pugh, 54, art and design teacher at Wye Valley school in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire: "You can feel isolated as a teacher and it is only at events like this that you see the bigger picture. Without the conference the union would be rudderless - a head without a body."

Neil Jeffery, 35, French and German teacher at Minster college, Leominster, in Herefordshire: "It's not all people going round saying 'Brothers out!".

It's about discussing practical ways to help members."

Sarah Pyke, 27, John Randall primary school in Telford, Shropshire: "I have a tough class - they have to remove eight children whenever they have a supply teacher in. And I was sitting in the discipline debate thinking 'Everything they are saying is about my class'."

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