To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of pupils of primary school age in England are in classes in maintained schools of (a) fewer than 20, (b) 20 to 24, (c) 25 to 28, (d) 29 to 30, (e) 31 to 35, (f) 36 to 40 and (g) greater than 40; and if he will make a statement.
The available information is given in the table.
|Maintained primary schools( 1) : Classes taught by one teacher( 2) —as at January 2006—England|
|Classes taught by one teacher|
|Key Stage 1 classes( 3)||Key Stage 2 classes||Classes in maintained primary schools|
|Classes of size:||Number of pupils||Percentage of pupils||Number of pupils||Percentage of pupils||Number of pupils||Percentage of pupils|
|Less than 20 pupils||88,350||6.3||59,880||3.0||199,290||5.3|
|20 to 24 pupils||278,030||19.9||264,390||13.4||632,960||16.8|
|25 to 28 pupils||453,150||32.5||578,600||29.4||1,163,740||30.8|
|29 to 30 pupils||546,560||39.2||588,050||29.9||1,204,590||31.9|
|31 to 35 pupils||26,930||1.9||450,570||22.9||522,270||13.8|
|36 to 40 pupils||790||0.1||26,210||1.3||42,410||1.1|
|Greater than 40 pupils||360||0.0||710||0.0||8,680||0.2|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed. |
(2) Classes as taught during a single selected period on the day of the census in January.
(3) Includes reception classes.
Pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Some 10.6 per cent. of pupils in large classes in maintained primary schools were engaged in activities such as PE or games or music, singing and drama.
Decisions about class sizes post Key Stage 1 are a matter for schools, and there are a number of factors that will influence this. Schools are best placed to know what works well for them and is in pupils' best interests. Instances of large classes may well be because schools are being more imaginative about how they organise lessons, making the best use of all school staff. In some subjects having a larger class with an experienced teacher supported by one or more trained teaching assistants can offer real advantages to pupils, enhancing rather than hindering their learning.