Funding for schools in Wales is passed down in a lump sum from the Assembly to individual local authorities. While the Assembly has earmarked 5.7 per cent of this budget for education, authorities are not compelled to commit the full amount.
Just over half of teachers (14,500) in Wales have passed beyond the threshold. But, say the unions, no money has been allotted to fund their progression beyond this point. In England, pound;250 million has been provided over two years.
Brian Rowlands, secretary of Secondary Heads Association Cymru, reckons authorities need an extra pound;27 million for pay.
"Unless that money is found, the system collapses," he said. "We feel that the situation is a shambles."