"I'm striking for the bigger picture of education" - these are the words of teachers striking in Slough today over low pay and excessive workloads.

Across the country, teachers are taking industrial action, with more than 100,000 estimated to be on strike and 23,000 schools being impacted.

Slough Ditton Park Academy and Wexham School are just some of the schools closed to the majority of students today, with only key exam years and vulnerable students expected to attend school.

The Slough Observer popped along to the strikes earlier today to talk to teachers about their reasons for striking.

Erica Wilson who teaches at Priory School said: "I'm striking for the bigger picture of education. It is not just about our pay rises - although we do deserve the pay that we work for.

"We work so many unpaid hours. But the pay rise that has been suggested is coming out of school budgets which are already stretched so thin and there is nothing left to cut.

"Going forward that is going to be detrimental to the education of our children. So I am here for my children as well as for me - for the bigger picture."

Slough Observer: Esther Benjamin-Daley (left) and Erica Wilson (right) striking in SloughEsther Benjamin-Daley (left) and Erica Wilson (right) striking in Slough (Image: Newsquest)

Around 40 Slough teachers protested on the busy corner by The Curve in Slough, with many cars and buses honking in support as they passed by.

Talking with staff members, it is clear that there is a major misconception about the hours and work that teachers carry out throughout their working day.

Esther Benjamin-Daley from James Elliman Academy said: "We have to take care of the mental health of the children and we have refugees coming to our schools, those that don't speak English - there is such a range of children that need help and we still have children suffering from lockdown. We need to do extra classes for the children. We hardly get a cup of tea to be honest."

National development officer at the NEU Laurence Rose said: "Today we have all of our teacher members up and down the country taking industrial action for the first time since 2016. 

"There is probably about 200,000 members across the country on strike and we have plenty out in Slough today.

"Our total membership is around 400,000 across the country and we have seen about 40,000 new members join over the last couple of weeks."

Slough Observer: