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Nearly 120,000 more secondary pupils in large classes

Commenting on class size statistics published today by the Department for Education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:

“The Department for Education has today published statistics which show that secondary school class sizes have risen for the fourth consecutive year.

“Even more worryingly, the percentage of secondary school pupils in classes of more than 30 pupils has also risen, from 9.6% in 2015 to 13% in 2019. This means that the number of pupils in large classes has increased by more than 118,000 in that time.

“This increase in class sizes is a direct result of real-terms cuts in school funding. Class sizes have increased because schools have had no alternative other to reduce the number of staff they employ at the same time as pupil numbers are rising.

“Without improved funding this situation will worsen. The two contenders for the leadership of the Conservative Party should be worrying more about schools than about tax cuts.”

The statistics on class sizes are contained in the DfE’s ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics: January 2019’ (Table 7a).

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