William Eichler 06 September 2018

Number of infants in overcrowded classes ‘doubled’ under Tories

Number of infants in overcrowded classes ‘doubled’ under Tories image

The Government denies accusations that the number of primary school infants in classes over 30 pupils has nearly doubled under the Tories.

Drawing on House of Commons research, Labour have found the number of children at key stage one in classes over 30 has increased by 91% since 2011.

In England in 2011 there were 43,130 children in classes over 30 but this had increased to 82,358 in 2018. This represents 4.9% of all pupils, compared to 2.9% in 2011.

‘These figures confirm the Tories’ failure to provide a high quality education for all of our country’s children,’ said shadow education secretary Angela Rayner.

‘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.’

However, the minister for school standards, Nick Gibb, argued the number of primary school infants in classes over 30 pupils has ‘actually decreased’ - although his analysis is based on a shorter time period.

‘The proportion of infant pupils in classes of over 30 has actually decreased in each of the last 3 years – from 6.2% in 2015 to 4.9% in 2018,’ he said.

‘The average primary class size has also seen little change and currently sits at 27.1, well below the statutory limit, even with the increases in number of children attending primary school.’

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