Teachers in Powys, the largest county in Wales, UK staged a day of action for education on Thursday. Teachers went on strike and parents, children and communities joined them in a protest march to county hall.

Powys is closing rural schools and merging others, meaning that many children are having to travel miles to school and communities are having the heart taken out of them. They are also increasing average class sizes to 33, cutting nursery education and outsourcing some sixth forms to a private college. 

Teachers are also angry about the way their work is being micro-managed and they are being prevented from doing the creative job they trained to do. As one year 5 teacher put it: “I am happy to put the time and effort into planning exciting, creative lessons that will help to enrich and develop children into enthusiastic learners. However, all of my time is spent marking for hours on end or trawling through meaningless data, identifying children who are not on track in order to satisfy unachievable and ever increasing targets set by LEA”.

After the protest, teachers met to put together a list of demands, while creative activities were laid on for children and refreshments for community members who had taken part in the protest.