Gwynne slams Tories as new figures reveal “unprecedented” rise in oversized classrooms

WhatsApp Image 2017-05-15 at 17.52.35Local Labour candidate for the Denton and Reddish constituency, Andrew Gwynne, has attacked the Tories record on education as figures released by the Department for Education have confirmed that the number of children being taught in classes of over 30 has skyrocketed since 2011.

Statistics reveal that Tameside has seen a huge rise of 553% in the number of children being taught in oversized classrooms – with 5406 primary school children now taught in classes of over 30 children[1]. Stockport has also seen a significant rise of 29% since 2011[2], with 3391 primary school children now learning in crowded classrooms as teachers are forced to push classroom boundaries to the limit.

Class size increases have been linked to attainment rates and increased pressure on teachers as they face a growing workload[3]. Teachers have raised concern that growing classes can lead to a decline in pupils’ behaviour and has impacts on the provision for vulnerable students.

Nationally, since the Tories came to office, there have been incremental rises each year in the number of children being taught in classrooms with over 30 students. Official figures released by the Department for Education[4] reveal that in 2008 only 1.8% of children across the whole country were in classes of more than 30 pupils; however by 2015 that figure had more than trebled to 6.2% of primary school children.

Andrew Gwynne says:

“The unprecedented rise in the number of primary school children being taught in classrooms with over 30 students in Tameside and Stockport is unacceptable.

“Over half a million primary school children[5] are now being taught in so-called ‘super-classrooms’  nationally since the Tories abandoned Labour’s commitment to cap classroom sizes at 30.

“Labour will give children the best start in life, with a commitment to reduce class sizes under 30 for all 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds, and seek to extend that as resources allow.”

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/532038/SFR20_2016_National_Tables.xlsx

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/219066/sfr12-2011latv2.xls

[3] https://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/91087/91087.pdf (pg.68)

[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/552342/SFR20_2016_Main_Text.pdf

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jan/15/primary-schools-oversize-classes-claims-labour

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