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Quiz on class sizes and staffing

An 11-page questionnaire on class sizes and staffing will greet teachers on their return to school this term, writes Linda Blackburne.

The questionnaire will be the National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations' third state of schools survey. Results of the survey will be published in January next year. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has agreed to analyse the data on the NCPTA's behalf.

The 40-year-old association, which has more than 11,000 member schools, wants parents and teachers to use the data in discussions about school funding.

Margaret Morrissey, the NCPTA's press officer, said: "We hope to use the report to influence decisions taken at national level. NCPTA believes that it is essential to fund education properly, for in the hands of our children lies the future prosperity and well-being of society. Home-school associations have a role to play in supporting schools through fund-raising, but not for essential equipment and resources."

The questionnaire asks whether schools have enough staff to teach the national curriculum, and for details of the pupil:teacher ratio.

Other questions cover maximum and minimum class sizes, whether teachers have time to talk to parents, teacher qualifications, whether children are sharing textbooks, and the state of repair of school buildings.

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