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Primary classes

The average class size for primary pupils aged eight and over has fallen for the second consecutive year and is now 26.7, Stephen Timms, the schools minister, told MPs in the Commons.

In reply to a question by Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle, he said: "We intend to continue to improve funding to schools and by 2003-04 the average funding per pupil will have risen by pound;750 in real terms since 1997-98; schools may use this to reduce class sizes for junior pupils if they see that as a priority."

He added that pound;73 million was available this year specifically to ensure that infants transferring to junior classes continued to benefit from small classes.

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