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Classes still rising

Class sizes in primary and secondary schools are continuing to grow, according to the latest Government figures .

Research by John Howson of Oxford Brookes University, based on an analysis of Department for Education and Employment figures, shows the average pupil:teacher ratio in primary schools went up to 22.9:1 in January from 22.2:1 at the same time last year. In secondaries the ratios went up from 16.1: to 16.5:1. Some 69 per cent of education authorities had worse primary pupil:teacher ratios and 53 per cent had worse secondary PTRs compared to last year.

Mr Howson said the figures suggested that rising pupil numbers in primary schools were not being adequately funded. Improvements in some authorities could be explained by misjudgments in numbers staying on into the sixth form, he said.

These figures emerge as parents, teachers and governors prepare for a national demonstration against education cuts to be held in Nottingham tomorrow. It will assemble at 12 noon at County Hall, West Bridgford.

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