Class Sizes: Primary Education

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Humfrey Malins Humfrey Malins Conservative, Woking

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average class size in primary schools in England and Wales was in each of the last five years; what effect the personalised learning initiative is expected to have on class sizes; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners)

The average class size in local authority maintained primary schools in England, including middle schools as deemed, has remained constant at 26.2 from 2004 to 2008, except in 2006 when it was 26.3. The figure for 2008 is based on provisional data: figures for other years are based on final data. The Department does not collect information for Wales.

Rather than being a discrete initiative, 'personalised learning' means taking a highly structured and responsive approach to each child's and young person's learning, enabling all to progress, achieve and participate. Individual schools and teachers are best placed to tailor teaching to their pupils' needs. This may include teaching in different sized pupil groupings on different occasions, or using in-class grouping to allow pupils with a range of needs to work at an appropriate level. However, there is no expectation that by using personalised approaches to teaching and learning, schools will experience any change to their overall average class size as indicated.

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