EMMA Collins is typical of the younger teachers union leaders claim are being squeezed out of the profession by a combination of low pay and the heavy work-load.

The 23-year-old, of Twickenham, has just finished her training and is teaching at Bedfont Junior School.

She said she and several colleagues still shifted at the pub where they worked as students, especially when they had big bills to pay.

"It's difficult because we've got enough work as it is," she added.

"Living in Twickenham, I find that once I've paid my rent and council tax there's not a lot left for anything else.

"A lot of people are put off becoming teachers purely by the wages, especially when they're paying off their student loans.

"It's hard when most of your friends are earning so much more and I don't know how I'm going to afford a mortgage in a few years' time."