The GMB union rallied outside Wiltshire primary schools this week to protest against a Government proposal to scrap teaching assistants.

The union, which represents teaching assistants, petitioned parents outside Devizes’ All Cannings Primary School and Trowbridge’s St John's Catholic Primary School.

The Treasury and Department for Education are considering getting rid of classroom assistants in attempt to cut costs.

Asia Allison, from GMB Southern Region, said: “We’ve received good support for the action and I think it is important to get the community behind us.

“The community needs to realise that Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, doesn’t value teaching assistants and we need to ensure that this profession isn’t lost.”

There are 232,000 teaching assistants in Britain and the GMB believe that if they are axed it will have a big effect on children’s education.

GMB representative Roger Jenkins said: “Teaching assistants offer one-to-one help to our children and the problem we have got is that this valuable commodity is not being appreciated.”

Over the summer break, the union will continue to campaign against any cuts and hold further petitions.

Dissatisfied teachers are also calling on Mr Gove to hold discussions with them regarding job cuts and changes to pension plans.

The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers and the National Union of Teachers have proposed to hold a strike in October if they are not offered reassurances.