Num­ber of su­per­size class­rooms on rise

Sunday Herald - - NEWS -

THE num­ber of “su­per­sized” Scot­tish pri­mary school with classes of more than 30 chil­dren has risen by more than one-third, ac­cord­ing to anal­y­sis by the Lib­eral Democrats

Be­tween 2012 and 2016, the num­ber of th­ese classes rose from 1,687 to 2,287 with 71, 309 chil­dren af­fected, up from 52,445 over the pe­riod. The fig­ures have also been ris­ing steadily year-on-year dur­ing that time.

The Scot­tish LibDems blame the in­crease on SNP “mis­man­age­ment”, ar­gu­ing that ris­ing class sizes makes the key Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment pri­or­ity of clos­ing the gap in at­tain­ment be­tween af­flu­ent pupils and the less well-off harder to at­tain.

The party’s ed­u­ca­tion spokesman Tav­ish Scott said: “We al­ready know that the av­er­age class size is at its high­est in years. Now th­ese new fig­ures re­veal that the num­ber of chil­dren be­ing taught in su­per­size classes has soared.

“Al­most 20,000 more chil­dren are be­ing taught in classes of 30 or above com­pared to 2012. There are 143 more su­per­size classes in Glas­gow and ap­proach­ing 100 ad­di­tional large classes in Ed­in­burgh.

“Smaller classes do help pupils learn and help teach­ers con­tact with chil­dren who need ex­tra help. So in­creas­ing class sizes make it harder to close the at­tain­ment gap.”

A Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment spokesman said: “In 2010, we leg­is­lated to re­duce the max­i­mum class size in Pri­mary 1 to 25, its low­est-ever level.

“We are re­form­ing the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem to close the poverty-re­lated at­tain­ment gap and tar­get re­sources at the chil­dren, schools and com­mu­ni­ties which most need them.”

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