A major action plan is being launched in Wales in an effort to provide school support staff with the right level of assistance.
It is hoped the move will ensure people in teaching assistant jobs are able to improve their skills through professional development schemes, while also being given access to the best training opportunities.
The whole induction process for new starters will also be overhauled so these individuals are given more guidance than ever before, with the aim to put career progression at the heart of the programme in an effort to create a highly skilled workforce.
Launching the initiative, education minister Huw Lewis said school support staff are "so important in supporting our teachers in the classroom".
"The high regard in which we hold them is the reason why we've published this action plan. It sets out a range of positive actions, I believe, will support not only their initial training but also their own professional development throughout their careers," he added.
Mr Edwards said the Welsh government has made a "clear commitment" to raising standards across the board, which includes boosting literacy and numeracy rates and targeting the issue of poverty in youngsters.
He has identified the role of support staff as key to making enhancements in the Welsh education sector, as they can help people in teaching jobs and pupils.
Last week (October 3rd), a report carried out by three senior educators from Wales recommended rebranding ICT for the 21st century. It thinks a new subject called computing should be introduced, which would then be grouped with the three sciences.
Part of the reason for the suggested overhaul is the authors feel ICT has now become outdated and too focused on teaching kids how to use word processing and spreadsheets, rather than providing them with truly transferable skills.
Posted by Alan Douglas