Kirsty Williams announces £36m to cut infant class sizes

 The BBC is reporting that a new £36m fund to reduce infant class sizes and raise standards has been announced by the education secretary.

Kirsty Williams said she had listened to parents and looked at international evidence. “There is a positive connection between smaller classes and attainment, particularly for pupils from poorer backgrounds,” she said.

The money will be “directed at the frontline” and start with the largest class sizes over the next four years.

Latest figures showed that 7.6% (or 8,196) of infant pupils in Wales were in classes of over 30 – a growing number. The average class size in Wales was 25.4 pupils.

Director of NAHT Cymru, Rob Williams said: “School leaders know that focusing support on our youngest pupils frequently reaps benefits later on in their education and beyond.

“It also makes sense to target such funding on those schools with children most in need of additional support – spreading funding too thinly may not have the maximum impact.”

Conservative AM Darren Millar said the “scant evidence base” for the policy was “well documented”.

“Conversely, there is growing evidence of Wales’ worsening teacher recruitment crisis and so it remains unclear how this policy can be made to work,” he added.

More at: Kirsty Williams announces £36m to cut infant class sizes

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