Union call to bring down class sizes

EDUCATION chiefs need to do more if all classroom sizes in Suffolk are to be reduced to less than 30 pupils, a teachers' union has claimed.

EDUCATION chiefs need to do more if all classroom sizes in Suffolk are to be reduced to less than 30 pupils, a teachers' union has claimed.

Figures released yesterday show the average primary school class in the county is made up of 24.3 youngsters - better than the national average of 26.2.

Meanwhile, the average class size for secondary schools in Suffolk is 21.2 pupils - slightly higher than the UK average of 20.9.

But Martin Goold, Suffolk branch secretary for the National Union of Teachers (NUT), claims the figures are skewed because of the large number of small schools in the region.


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He said: “On the one hand we have a large number of smaller schools in Suffolk with very small classrooms while on the other - particularly in some schools in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft - there are problems with class sizes of 30 or more.

“It means that some children are not getting a fair crack of the whip and are not getting the individual teacher time they are entitled to.

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Ian Brown, head of infrastructure development at Suffolk County Council, said: “We encourage schools to have classes of 30 or less whenever possible. It is therefore pleasing that in Suffolk the teacher to pupil ratios are in line with or better than the national average.”

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