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21,276 in classes of over 30

One in five primary one and two pupils were in single stage classes of 31 or more pupils last September, Scottish Office figures have revealed. This is a total of 21,276 children.

As the Government wrestles over how to restrict early years classes to 30 pupils without infringing parental choice, the average figure masks a huge range - from over 30 per cent in Dundee, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Renfrewshire and West Lothian to zero in Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles.

If Labour's manifesto pledge literally means an extra teacher and classroom for every P1P2 class over 30, local authorities estimate the cost could be up to pound;13 million in additional staffing and as much as pound;26 million in initial capital costs for new accommodation.

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