It is part of the unions’ joint campaign of action protesting cuts to education and changes to pay and conditions, including the move to performance-related pay, and attacks on teachers’ pensions.
The rallies came ahead of the start of a series of series of regional one-day strikes during the summer and autumn terms, with a national walk-out in the autumn.
Members of both unions voiced support for an escalation of the campaign of industrial action during their recent annual conferences.
The campaign is also fighting the expansion of the government’s academies and free schools programme and what it argues is the privatisation of state education.
Chris Keates, NASUWT general secretary said: “Parents, teachers and the public care deeply about the education of our children and young people. That is why there is widespread opposition to the education policies of the coalition government.
“These Rallies for Education are being held in defence of our world class public education system which the coalition government is determined to wreck.”
Christine Blower, NUT general secretary added: “We know that neither teachers nor parents are happy with education policy under Michael Gove. He is hell-bent on riding roughshod over the wishes of parents, local communities and the teaching profession. (The rallies) gives an opportunity for the voices of opposition to be raised. We know there are alternatives. Michael Gove must now stop, listen and reflect.”
The series of regional strikes across England and Wales will commence with a one-day walk-out by the unions’ members across the North West on June 27. They will then run up until the October half-term, after which a national strike will take place.
Between them, the unions represent 85 per cent of classroom teachers in England and Wales.
Further Rallies for Education are planned on May 11 in Birmingham and Leeds, and on May 18 in Cardiff and Newcastle.