Numbers hold steady in primary classes

Karen Thornton

Most infant and junior classes in Wales contain 30 pupils or less, according to the latest government statistics.

The number of over-sized infant classes went up from 38 to 46 (1,444 pupils) this September. But in all but four classes (125 pupils), schools had been allowed to take in extra pupils because they had just moved into the catchment area or had special needs.

There were 100 junior classes with more than 30 pupils, down from 103 last year. This fell to only 10 classes, once "excepted" pupils were accounted for.

And for the second year running, there were no junior classes with more than 35 children. In 1999, a quarter of junior classes in Welsh schools exceeded 30 pupils. The Assembly government has provided pound;75 million over the past five years for class size reduction.

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Karen Thornton

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