The number of infants’ classes in England with over the legal limit have almost doubled in size over the past seven years, according to Labour. An analysis of House of Commons research has revealed that the number of children aged between five and seven that were in classes with more than 30 children have increased by 91 percent. In 2011 there were 43,130 children in c
lasses with more than 30 but this year that number has risen to 82,358. Every region in England had seen some increase except for London.
The West Midlands were most affected having seen an increase of 211 percent over the same period. Head teachers are warning that they are being forced to increase class sizes in a bid to cut costs with some saying that they cannot replace teachers. Some are also warning that they are having to make teachers redundant just to save money and that this is driving the increase in class sizes.
“These figures confirm the Tories’ failure to provide a high quality education for all of our country’s children,” Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said. “This situation is totally unsustainable. If Ministers really wanted to give every child the education they deserve, they wouldn’t pack so many five, six and seven year olds into classes of this size.”
The same study also predicts pupil numbers to grow by 4 percent between 2018 and 2026, warning that unless teacher numbers grow, class sizes will continue to increase.