Teachers discussed class sizes because three-quarters said the numbers had increased

Teachers are ready to discuss whether the government should set maximum limits on class sizes, as most say it has a negative impact on their students’ progress.

A survey by the Nasuwt teachers ‘association ahead of the annual Birmingham conference found that three-quarters of teachers said their class numbers were increasing, with most teachers saying it had a negative impact on pupils’ progress and behavior.

In a survey of more than 3,000 teachers, 37% said that the number of their classes had “significantly” increased over the last five years, and 75% said that the number of their classes had increased over the same period.

Nine out of 10, 91% reported that their class size had a negative impact on students ‘progress and performance, while 90% said it had a negative impact on students’ behavior.

More than two-thirds, 67%, said they thought more pupils in the classroom were due to higher numbers on school lists, while 40% said they thought the problem was due to staff reductions, and another 40% stated that the reason was budget cuts. a problem.

Half of the respondents, 50%, said that class size had a significant negative impact on their workload.

Overall, 95% said that class size had a negative impact on how they could meet the needs of all pupils, and 78% said that class size negatively affected the provision of appropriate teaching materials for pupils.

Patrick Roach (Simon Boothe / Nasuwt / PA)

(PA Media)

Only 21% said that their class size was always commensurate with the subjects they taught, and more than two-thirds (67%) said that their class size had an impact on the increased transmission of COVID-19 among their students.

In 2021, a Labor Party analysis found that the number of high school students in classes with at least 31 students had increased from one in 10 in 2010 to almost one in seven students.

The analysis indicated that the number of primary school pupils in classes with 31 or more pupils increased from one in nine in 2010 to one in eight.

An analysis based on data from the House of Commons Library found that the number of high school students aged 31 and over increased by more than 130,000 between 2016 and 2020, an increase of 43%.

In 2019, Mary Bousted, joint secretary general of the NEU teachers’ union, said it was “a necessary result of several government policies that were conspired to push schools.”

On Sunday, Nasuwt will discuss a proposal calling on the government to introduce maximum class sizes at all key stages.

Patrick Roach, Secretary General of Nasuwt, said: “The increase in the number of pupils in the classroom has a detrimental effect on pupils’ educational experiences as well as on the health and safety of teachers and students.

“Large classrooms also contribute to the increased workload of teachers, reducing teachers’ ability to provide students with the individual support they need.

“The detrimental effect of the increased number of pupils in the classrooms became even more pronounced during the pandemic, creating the perfect conditions for the transfer of COVID-19.

“This situation again reveals the failure of government oversight over the last decade to plan for the placement of students or to secure the additional investment needed to increase the number of teachers.

“Children and their teachers deserve better,” he said.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Education said: “During the pandemic, schools and educators went beyond ensuring that every child received the education they deserved.

“In primary schools, the average class size has decreased in 2020/21 compared to 2019/20, most primary schools have 27 or fewer pupils per class.

“In secondary schools, class sizes remain low, with an average of 22 pupils per class in 2020/21, despite an increase of almost 800,000 pupils in the system since 2010.”

“From May 2010 to May 2021, we also created more than one million additional school sites, which is the largest increase in school capacity in at least two generations.”

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