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COMPOSITE CLASSES DWINDLE - COSLA

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The number of composite classes in the larger Scottish primary schools ...
The number of composite classes in the larger Scottish primary schools

will be cut by two-thirds as a result of the offer on pay and conditions currently being made to teachers.

COSLA education convener Danny McCafferty revealed this yesterday

where he said that in larger schools, the reduction in single stage class sizes - down to a maximum of 30 - will mean that around two-thirds of composite classes will be abolished as the policy

is implemented.

More than 40 per cent of composite classes are in small schools where

the class size limit is guaranteed to remain at 25 during the phasing in period, cllr McCafferty said.

And he continued: 'In fewer than 900 classes, out of a total of 17,488, is their any prospect of a composite class going over the current 25 limit - that's just five per cent of all classes. We would expect that in those few cases, authorities would concentrate additional resources such as visiting specialists and classroom assistants.

'This proposal has been thought out very carefully and thoroughly

researched. We are confident that there will not be the rise in the

number of composite classes as the EIS are claiming, rather the opposite - we will see them virtually disappear.'

Mr McCafferty added that while it would take time for the

changes to be fully felt in schools, the offer contained proposals for a review of composite classes in 2003 to assess progress.

Mr McCafferty added that there were areas where composite

classes would continue, for example in small rural schools.

'In total, 73 per cent of classes will have a lower maximum size, 11 per cent will remain at a maximum size of 25 pupils, more than 1200

composite classes will disappear,' he concluded.

NOTES

1. Number of primary school classes in Scotland 17,488

Number of single stage classes 12,793

Number of composite classes 4,695

2. More than 40 per cent of composite classes are in small schools, where the existing limit of 25 pupils will remain.

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