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.
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.
More top news
More than half a million people are expected to take part in this weekend's 'Big Garden Birdwatch', organised by the RSPB.
Cardiff manager Russell Slade says the Bluebirds need a win as they prepare to host Reading in their FA Cup fourth round tie.
Swansea's Garry Monk says his side want to overcome the embarrassment of last week's 5-0 against Chelsesa in today's FA Cup tie.