Class sizes of over 100 revealed in secondary schools

The Tes reports that three secondary school classes were reported to have more than 100 pupils on a specific day in January, with a further 10 over 70 and 52 over 50

Teachers are dealing with classes as big as 181 pupils, it has been revealed. Figures from the Department of Education (DfE), revealed to the Sunday Times under FOI, showed the biggest secondary school class, in Sutton, southwest London, had 181 pupils.

A further two classes, in Sefton, Merseyside and Suffolk, had more than 100 pupils – with 141 and 135, respectively, while there were also 10 classes of 70 or more pupils and 52 classes with 50-plus students.

Growing class sizes are one indicator of how cuts to budgets are translating into front line teaching, it is believed. In September, Tes reported eighty-eight per cent of schools were still facing funding cuts, despite the government pumping an extra £1.3 billion into the system.

Commenting on the new figures on class sizes, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, said “everyone from the public accounts committee to the teaching unions has warned that Tory cuts will lead to large class sizes, and this admission is yet more evidence that they are right”.

Headteacher of Harrop Fold School in Salford Drew Povey reportedly said he had once taught 150 children in a class. “I honestly think we are going to see class sizes balloon in schools over the next few years because of the funding cuts.”

A spokesman for the DfE said: “We have spoken to the three schools with the largest class sizes. These figures relate to PE lessons and choir practice where it is not uncommon for classes to be taught together. The schools’ pupil-to-teacher ratios remain well below the national average. We also expect this is the case for many of the other schools reporting larger classes in this data.

Read more Class sizes of over 100 revealed in secondary schools

Have you taught an extra large class? How did you find it? Will these super sized classes become the norm? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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