One in three teachers see “reducing class size” as the top priority for the next Government

The National Education Union today (14 November) releases an analysis of class sizes in England between 2010-19. FE News reports

According to the Government’s own data:

  • 474 out of 533 England constituencies have seen an increase in average class size since 2010.
  • Average class size has fallen, often only slightly, in just 59 constituencies over the same period.
  • Almost a million pupils – 961,127 – are in classes of 31 or more, up from 747,531 in 2010. This is a 29% increase.
  • There are now 63,566 pupils in classes of 36 or more, up from 44,093 in 2010. This is a 44% rise.
  • Since 2010, there has been a 258% rise in the number of secondary pupils in classes of 36 or more. The leap is from 6,107 to 21,843.

NEU members were recently asked to identify which policy change would be most critical for the next Government, in order to directly improve the quality of pupils’ education. “Reducing class size” came top, with 39% of secondary staff and 21% of primary staff choosing it above all other issues. This averages 34% of those polled.

The 20 constituencies with the largest primary classes are: Christchurch; Eastbourne; Bournemouth East; Stoke-on-Trent Central; Mid Dorset and North Poole; Sutton and Cheam; Sheffield, Hallam; Dartford; Warley; Basildon and Billericay; Ilford South; Epsom and Ewell; Castle Point; Woking; Fareham; Bolton North East; Chelmsford; Maidstone and The Weald; Southend West; and Gravesham. All have an average class size of 28.8 or more. The European average is 20. (4)

Read more findings and analysis One in three teachers see “reducing class size” as the top priority for the next Government 

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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