by prestwichfocus on 1 August, 2017
Investigations by Liberal Democrat councillors have revealed a shocking 265% increase in the number of class sizes over 30 in Bury’s secondary schools in just one year.
Liberal Democrat councillor Tim Pickstone asked: “Could the Leader update members on the number of secondary school children in Bury who are taught in classes of more than 30 children, and how this compares to previous years?
The answer was: “There are a total of 63 classes of thirty or more pupils spread across all but two of the boroughs secondary schools. There is no statutory limit on KS3/4 class sizes and it is, therefore, a matter for each school to determine. This is a significant increase on last year’s figures of 23 classes in excess of 30 from the same number of secondary schools.”
Councillor Pickstone said: “There might not be a statutory limit to class sizes in secondary schools, but it is not difficult to work out that a larger class size gives children less teacher attention for each child.
Schools across Bury have been forced to reduce staffing – teachers and teaching assistants – largely because costs have increased while funding has not kept up.
Education is a vital part of giving all children the best possible start in life. Lack of money is having an impact on children’s education”.
Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said: “The increase in class sizes over 30 is one of the many consequences of cutting school funding. More and more schools are only able to balance their budgets by cutting staff and forming larger classes. Both primary and secondary schools will be put under increasing budgetary pressures to look at ways to ‘make do’ and the Department for Education recommends increasing class size as a way for schools to save money. The DfE describes this as an ‘efficiency saving’”.