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Super-sized classes up under Coalition

Caitlin BisknellThe number of Derbyshire children in primary school classes of over 30 pupils has shot up under David Cameron’s government.

The number of Derbyshire children in primary school classes of over 30 pupils has shot up under David Cameron’s government.

The Department for Education’s own figures show the number of infants taught in classes of over-30 has spiralled by 200 per cent since 2010 – to over 93,000 children.

The figures also show that, in January of this year, 40,000 primary pupils were in very large classes of over 36. Of this 40,000, over a third are in classes of over 40; 5,817 are in classes of over 50; 2,556 are in classes of over 60; 446 pupils are currently taught in class sizes of 70+.

Gamesley Community Primary School was one of the schools cited in the Department for Education’s figures, as it has a class of 36 pupils.

Speaking after viewing the figures, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for High Peak, Caitlin Bisknell, said: “In 2008 David Cameron said ‘the more we can get class sizes down the better’, but as parents and pupils prepare to begin the new school year, there are real concerns about the number of children in classes of more than 30 infants under the Tories.

“By diverting resources away from areas in desperate need of more primary school places in favour of pursuing his pet project of expensive Free Schools in areas where there is no shortage of places, David Cameron has created classes of more than 40, 50, 60 and even 70 pupils.

“Labour will end the Free Schools programme and instead focus spending on areas in need of extra school places.”

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education Tristram Hunt, echoed Caitlin’s concerns. He said: “The Choice on education is clear: the threat of ever more children crammed in to large class sizes under the Tories or a Labour future where we transform standards with a qualified teacher in every classroom and action on class sizes.”

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