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OLDER PUPILS LEFT TO SUFFER IN WAR ON CLASS SIZES

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Class sizes have risen or remained the same for two-thirds of all primary school pupils despite a government pledge...
Class sizes have risen or remained the same for two-thirds of all primary school pupils despite a government pledge to reduce them, a new survey has found, reported The Sunday Times (p10). More than 1.3 million pupils are still being taught in classes of 31 or more.

A survey of 500 schools published by the National Association of Head Teachers reveals that pupil numbers for half the classes for seven to 11 year olds have risen this September while 28% have remainded the same size and just 22% have fallen. Even among five to seven year olds, where the government has targeted its resources, 35% of classes have risen in size while 27% have remained the same and 38% have fallen.

Figures released by the government last week showed 345,000 pupils were in infant classes of 31 or more compared with 484,820 in January this year. More than 1,500 teachers are being employed with grants worth£22m aimed at cutting class sizes, with a further£40m for new classrooms.

Cutting class sizes has proved complicated and chaotic for thousands of schools. Pupils have been taught in school receptions and canteens because of lack of classroom space. It is also claimed the scheme may result in local authorities forcing parents to send their children to unpopular schools with smaller classes.
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