The TES is reporting that Jeremy Corbyn warns that teacher workload is causing too many to leave the profession and that primary class sizes should be kept to 30 or less.
“We need a guarantee of class sizes of 30 or less in primary schools,” he said. “There are a considerable number that are over 30, 31, some that are even bigger than that – up to 38, and that is completely wrong.”
Mr Corbyn said reducing class sizes would result in schools having to increase staff numbers.”Therefore, we need more teachers; above all, we need to retain more teachers,” he said. “Sadly too many leave the profession very early because they are over-burdened by workloads and pressure on them.”
The exisiting limit was imposed on infant classes following Ofsted research in 1995 which found that, weighing up the cost and benefits of reducing class sizes, it could only be justified for younger children.
And there is little research evidence to show that the cost of limiting class sizes for older children would be justified. The Education Endowment Foundation says that reducing class sizes has “moderate impact for very high cost”. It adds that there are not particularly large or clear effects until the class size is reduced to under 20.
But it would be a popular policy with teachers, who, given the choice, are more likely to say they would have smaller classes than a pay rise, according to TES Global research published in May.
Do you think keeping class sizes at a max of 30pupils would help reduce workload and therefore keep teachers, or do you think larger class sizes help solve the problem of a lack of teachers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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