TEACHERS can expect to receive a new pay offer "within days", the education secretary has said. 

The year was kicked off with industrial action taking place in schools across the country and unions have announced further walkouts are to follow at the end of this month. 

Educators are demanding a pay rise of 10% but so far only offers between 5% and 6.85% for lower-paid staff have been tabled. 

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Sommerville has confirmed that a fifth offer will go before unions later this week. 

The Scottish Government and local government body Cosla met on Monday in an attempt to avoid further industrial action.

Sommerville told the BBC:  "The Scottish government has been working very closely with Cosla and we hope that an improved offer will be made imminently.

"We would hope to have something that Cosla would be able to announce to teaching unions within the next day or so."

She described the offer as "exceptionally fair" and said she hoped it would be enough to suspend further planned strike action. 

Nation-wide strikes are expected to take place on February 28 and March 1, the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) confirmed.

The union is also planning 20 further days of rolling strikes across all local authority areas from March 13 until April 21.