Commenting on the figures obtained by the Labour Party showing more than half a million primary school pupils in England are being taught in classes of more than 36, Rosamund McNeil, Head of Education, National Union of Teachers, said:
“Far too many schools have to reluctantly increase the number of pupils in classes as a direct result of insufficient funding. By describing adding extra children to classes as an ‘efficiency saving’, the DfE is trying to paper over the harmful consequences of under-funding.
‘Parents understand the value of time with the teacher and the link between teacher attention and their child’s understanding of what’s going on in class. Quality learning environments can’t be maintained with more children in each class, and with less time for the teacher to keep on top of how each child is doing.
‘This cavalier attitude by Government to giving teachers an environment which allows them to teach well is deeply unfair. It undermines the chances of children with additional needs the most. The Government should match the tireless hard work and commitment of teachers and heads with a commitment to full funding. If the aim is for all children to do well, they should be adopting policies which reduce, not increase, the numbers of students in the class”.