How will ‘super-size’ classes affect your child’s education?

The number of children being taught in “super-size” primary school classes is the worst in a decade, official data shows and has been reported in The Telegraph today by Camilla Turner, education editor.

More than one in ten pupils (10.8 per cent) aged between four and 11 are now taught in classes of 31 or more.

This is the largest proportion since 2007, according to figures published by the Department for Education (DfE).

Increased birth rate in early 2000’s

There has been a steady increase in primary school class sizes in recent years, following a boom in pupil numbers caused in part by a rise in the birth rate in the early 2000’s, which is now making its way through to secondary schools.

The increase in class sizes has also been affected by new homes being built in various locations without sufficient expenditure being allocated for new schools, or new classrooms for existing schools.

While direct immigration has little effect on pupil numbers, higher birth rates among immigrant communities has been a contributing factor in some locations, according to DfE forecasts.

Government findings

A report published by the Public Accounts Committee last year warned that there is a “growing sense of crisis” in teacher recruitment against  backdrop of soaring pupil numbers.

Ministers have failed to “get a grip” on teacher retention, MPs said, adding that it is “particularly worrying” that the number of secondary school teachers has been falling since 2010.

Angela Rayner, the shadow Education Secretary, said that the rise in class sizes is “unsustainable”. 

Statutory limits

There is a statutory limit on class sizes for children aged between four and seven, meaning that any classes above 30 are falling foul of the law.

While there are no formal restrictions on class size for children aged seven to 11, a class of over 30 is well above the average size which is 27.1 children per class.

It appears, therefore, that super-size classes are slipping through the net.

A report published by the Public Accounts Committee last year warned that there is a “growing sense of crisis” in teacher recruitment against  backdrop of soaring pupil numbers.

Failing primary schools

Today, up to 100,000 children will be allocated places in failing primary schools, a charity’s analysis shows.

This year 2,223 primary schools are rated as “Inadequate” or “Requires Improvement”, up from 1,647 in 2018 and 1,558 in 2017.

The New Schools Network (NSN), a charity that supports free schools, found that 12,500 children will get places at schools which have been failing for at least a decade.

You can read the full article here.

Have you been affected by this?

  • Are any of your children in classes of 30+?
  • Does your proposed primary school have over-sized classes?
  • Do you know of plans to improve the situation?

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