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Teachers' strike action avoided in Wales

Thousands of NUT and NASUWT members staged a one-day walkout in June. Credit: PA

Teachers in Wales are not due to take part in walkouts planned for their counterparts in England this autumn.

No strike dates have been announced for Wales, because the NUT and NASUWT say the Welsh Government has sought to engage with teachers over issues surrounding pay, pensions and workloads.

The two largest teaching unions have announced two days of walkouts in October, with a national strike likely to follow before Christmas.

The action is part of a long campaign against education reforms.

The UK Government says the strikes are "disappointing" and disruptive to pupils' education.

Hundreds gather at Cardiff education rally

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.

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Welsh Government: 'School standards must improve'

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.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Teaching unions hold rally to 'defend' education

A rally will be held in Cardiff today Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

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.

Welsh Government: 'We in no way want to overburden teachers'

The Welsh Government had responded to the NASUWT's claim that new performance management measures will lead to greater burdens being placed on teachers and headteachers in Wales.

The Minister has made is clear that he wants to see standards improve across the board in Wales and teachers' performance is an important part of that process. Continuing Professional Development is at the heart of the Minister's school improvement agenda. We in no way want to overburden teachers with additional workload, but it is imperative that standards improve for the benefit of learners in Wales.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

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NASUWT: 'New Performance Management will mean greater burden on teachers'

Teaching Union the NASUWT claim that new performance management measures will lead to greater burdens being placed on teachers and head teachers in Wales. That was the warning at the union's national conference in Birmingham today.

Our members in Wales put workload at the top of the agenda when it comes to the issues that most concern them in their day-to-day teaching practice. Debilitating burdens distract them from teaching and learning. The Welsh Government must provide schools with additional funding so that Performance Review and Development (PDR) time is timetabled in the school teaching week and to ensure the provision of a contractual entitlement to continued professional development is enshrined in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document.

– Chris Keates, NASUWT General Secretary