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Let's talk class sizes!

Discussion in 'Shape the agenda' started by A_Million_Posts, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. A_Million_Posts

    A_Million_Posts Star commenter

    Labour education policy is to cut class sizes for 5-7 year olds to less than 30. It's part of their National Education Service. Will this have any impact or should policy be in favour of an even bigger cut?

    Labour Education Policy
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Less than 30?
    So around 29 then, with an extra one or two from appeals?

    To make a real difference you'd need to have class sizes below 20, still with a very good full time TA working alongside the teacher.
    However this isn't cost effective and so won't happen.
    stonerose, JL48, Sally006 and 9 others like this.
  3. ajrowing

    ajrowing Established commenter

    If we each class was below 20, could the time be used more productively so less time would be needed in school?
  4. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    I think it would be effective educationally, but it would be "too expensive" to implement.
  5. A_Million_Posts

    A_Million_Posts Star commenter

    i think it's probably cost effective if you look at the impact education has on later life. Invest money at the start and reap the benefits in lower government intervention in later years.
    Is there anyone who has that as an educational policy?
    stonerose and 01ade like this.
  6. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    I know a local school with maximum class sizes of 24 (God knows how they afford it!). The teachers I know who work there seem a lot less stressed, parents sing the school's praises and when I've been round the kids seem very happy. Results are also incredible (well above average in all areas) despite having really low starting points. Class size does make an impact. It would be interesting to see where those children end up over the long term.

    However, as a previous poster says, it would be too expensive to do on a large scale as more schools would need to be opened and that simply won't happen.
    stonerose, Catgirl1964, 01ade and 3 others like this.
  7. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    I thought we had promises like this years ago until the Tories got their mitts on "education" again in 2010?
    stonerose likes this.
  8. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    No it's gone to personal; hardly seems to be the right place.
  9. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    But you might need 50% more schools.
  10. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    There were. 30 was to be the maximum. A bit like Cross-curricular themes that disappeared.
  11. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Not necessarily a downside, nor would the need for more teachers be a downside.
  12. LondonCanary

    LondonCanary Star commenter

    Hald a trillion pounds on building new schools might be difficult to find.
  13. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    In my experience (secondary) any reduction below 30 is welcome, and anything under 25 (KS3) or 20 (KS4) makes a significant difference to both pupils and the teachers.
    stonerose, Catgirl1964, 01ade and 6 others like this.
  14. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    If it was likely to be a vote winner with Tory party members I'm sure Hunt and Johnson would promise it. However I expect most of their grandchildren attend private schools so it wouldn't be worth promising.
    stonerose likes this.
  15. doteachershavesuperpowers

    doteachershavesuperpowers Occasional commenter

    Lots more schools with lots more teachers. Doesn't help that all the teachers seem to be leaving for abroad or quitting the profession altogether.
    stonerose and Catgirl1964 like this.
  16. nervousned

    nervousned Senior commenter

    Don't know why they don't just block us from starting threads since we're clearly not allowed.
  17. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Class size is definitely dictated by educational policy and therefore the budget given. This is a valid discussion.

    My preference for class size was around 24. More manageable for marking and individual attention for the pupil (primary ). I once had a class of 15. Great from a marking viewpoint but strangely not great for class interactions and discussion. I’ve also had 34 at KS2. Very little time for any individual discussions or teaching.
    stonerose, agathamorse and Wotton like this.
  18. RepelloInimicum

    RepelloInimicum Lead commenter

    I haven't had a class below 32 for 18 years!
    stonerose and agathamorse like this.
  19. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    Of course you can afford to cut class sizes. It’s just a matter of priorities. I taught in Victoria from 1974 to 2007. I never had a class of 30 students, much less one of more than 30, and there were only two years in which I had a class of more than 25, way back in 1976 and 1981.

    The rules in Victoria are that Foundation-2 classes should be capped at 21, each primary school’s classes overall should average no more than 26, and secondary classes should be capped at 25. I say “should” rather than “must” because the rules are looser than they were in my time – because teachers have lost the concept of professional solidarity and thus the union is weak.

    We also have lower maximum secondary teaching loads – there is a weird index system that effectively caps loads at 19.2 hours, including home groups and extras – and the same primary maximum load of 22.5 hours. Our teachers are also better paid, at $102,778 (c£57,500) for the top unpromoted classroom teacher.

    We have a Labor government that has genuinely made education its number one priority, with extra billions being poured into it and a fantastic education minister, the best for 35 years at least, so politics has made the difference.
    stonerose, Sally006 and agathamorse like this.
  20. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    According to OECD Education at a Glance 2017, the average class size in the UK is 27 for government primary schools and 20 for government lower secondary schools (Table D2.1d). The primary figure is substantially higher than the OECD average, while the secondary figure is lower than it. However, everything I read on this site tells me that secondary classes are commonly in the 30s, so I doubt the accuracy of the OECD figure, which prompts the question as to how it has been calculated.
    stonerose likes this.

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