Sky News reports that Jeremy Corbyn is using day two of the election campaign to claim Tory education policy means children are being crammed “like sardines” into “super-sized” school classes.
The Labour leader claims Government figures show more than 40,000 primary school children in England were taught in classes of 36 or more last year, up from 38,500 in 2015. Whilst a total of 16,655 primary pupils were being taught in class sizes of 40 or greater.
He also claims that in secondary schools there were nearly 305,000 pupils in classes with more than 31 pupils, 18,000 of which were in classes with 36 or more.
The Tories have immediately hit back, accusing Labour of a “massive own goal” because class sizes are rising in Wales, where Labour is in government.
“Seven years of Tory failure and broken promises have left our schools in a terrible state,” claims the Labour leader.
“School leaders and teachers have said that Tory cuts to school budgets will mean class sizes will be forced to grow even larger. We cannot risk our children’s education in this way.”
Labour’s shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, is attacking the Government for approving more than 130 new free schools this month. Saying”..they have relaxed the rules so even more can be built in areas where there is no demand for places.”
A Conservative Party spokesman replied “Of course we are not complacent about the situation in England. There is more to do and that’s why we are spending a record amount on schools – something we can afford to do because of our careful management of the nation’s finances.”
What is the largest class size you have taught? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter ~ Tamsin
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