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30-pupil classes on the rise

More than a third of primary schools now have classes with more than 30 pupils, according to a nationwide survey by the National Governors Council, writes Clare Dean. Spending cuts have forced heads and governors to pare staffing and pupil-teacher ratios have worsened by 3 per cent.

Evidence from more than 3,500 schools reveals a cut of 2.2 per cent in school budgets this year, despite an increase of nearly 2 per cent in pupil numbers.

Class contact hours were set to increase by 0.8 per cent in primary schools and 1 per cent in secondaries - and by an even greater amount in the grant- maintained sector. The survey also revealed a 6 per cent drop in the number of deputy heads' posts and a 27 per cent cut in temporary contracts.

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