Hundreds of teaching figures have attended a rally in Cardiff, saying they want to 'defend' the education system in Wales. The Welsh Government says measures have been put in place to raise standards and performance in education.
Welsh teachers have packed a conference hall in Cardiff to speak out over pay and working conditions in the profession.
Speakers from the main teaching unions NASUWT and NUT also said they wanted to 'defend' the education system here, which they claim politicians 'are determined to wreck'.
The Welsh Government says measures have been put in place to raise standards and performance, but added issues concerning pay and conditions are a matter for the UK Government as they are not devolved to Wales.
UK Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he's striving to achieve higher education standards through his policies.
Today's rally was held ahead of planned industrial action later this year.
There can be little argument that standards and performance in schools in Wales need to improve. The PISA results in 2010 along with evidence from Estyn and exam results confirm the urgency.
The Minister has put in place a number of measures to raise standards and performance in education across the board. We will continue to implement these measures to raise literacy and numeracy levels and cut the link between poverty and low attainment.
We must act for the benefit of our learners.
– Welsh Government spokesperson
On the subject of pay and conditions for teachers, the Welsh Government stressed that the issue is not a devolved matter in Wales, adding: "The issues Unions have on this matter are for the UK Government."
The Minister for Education and Skills has made it clear in his evidence to the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB) that he does not believe a link between pay progression and performance is necessary where an effective system of managing performance is already in place.
He has also consistently stated that we should retain a national pay structure for teachers in Wales and England. Such a system ensures fairer, more equitable and more cost effective way of administering pay than one where pay is determined locally.
Parents, teachers and governors are coming together for a rally in Cardiff today as part of a campaign to 'defend' the education of children and young people.
Organised by the NASUWT and NUT, the Rallies for Education are part of the two unions' campaign of industrial action which will include a 'rolling programme' of strike action at the end of the summer and into the autumn in England and Wales.
Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary, said: "These rallies for education are being held in defence of our world-class public education system, which politicians seem determined to wreck."
The rally will take place in Mary Ann Street from 12pm.