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London figures out of date

THE article "London rise in classes of 30-plus" (TES, November 6) is based on out-of-date figures used by the London Research Centre from January 1998. Since then class sizes for infant pupils have fallen in London. In January, there were 46,000 infant pupils in classes of more than 30 in London schools; this figure fell to around 35,000 in classes of more than 30 by September.

The Government has allocated Pounds 22 million from the Standards Fund this year to 65 local authorities to help reduce infant class sizes. Ten London local authority benefited from the allocations, funding more than 100 extra teachers leading in turn to smaller classes. London schools will also benefit from the extra Pounds 560m to be spent on more teachers and classrooms over the next three years.

The reduction of primary classes for five, six and seven-year-olds is one of the main priorities in our drive to raise standards and we are on target to meet our pledge.

Estelle Morris Department for Education and Employment Sanctuary Buildings London SW1

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