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Of skills and gamesmanship

There is an element of gamesmanship in the debate about class size ("Parents insist class sizes are important", TES, August 16). The importance of class size depends hugely on what teaching methods are used, and also on the nature of what is being taught.

If the teacher is simply imparting information after the manner of a university lecturer, the size of the class is limited only by the size of the classroom. If the teacher is teaching skills, then the matter is not so clear-cut. Teaching the same thing individually to each child, which is inherently inefficient, sets severe limits to the number of children who can be catered for in a given time.

This factor tends to be ignored in the discussion, as it was in Susan Young's article.

STEWART DEUCHAR Campaign for Real Education Dean Farm Singleborough Milton Keynes Buckinghamshire

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