21st May 2010 at 01:00

Senior school subjects - how many pupils?

Posted by cullodensoldier

How many pupils does your school need for a Higher class to run? In mine, subjects are going to be cut if we have fewer than 12. We are in a rural area, out on a limb - can't really bus pupils to other schools.

Posted by msmilo

It used to be 12, but this year it's gone up to 15! There are several subjects now running combined Int 12 and Higher, or not running any senior classes at all.

Posted by DMA298

Not sure we have an exact threshold. Some subjects at Higher level have run with as few as five pupils this year, and there was one Advanced Higher class of three. We are overstaffed though, and with cutbacks this year some courses have been dropped.

Posted by bigjimmy

Councils are looking for any excuse to save money, and cutting back on Higher, and AH especially, is a simple way to do this. I told my Higher class that if they wanted to do AH in S6, to get their parents to call the school to demand that AH run. Last year, our AH class of six pupils did exactly that - it wouldn't have run otherwise. There will be pressure on schools to scrap small classes as they cost proportionally more to run. A class of five is four times as expensive to run as a class of 20, in terms of teacher salary. Some HTs like to look good to their bosses by not allowing small classes to run, therefore saving cash.

Posted by gigglebert

Twelve for a Higher class, eight for an Advanced Higher. I am going to be taking the Higher class with AH in same room so that it can run. Will also have pupils there from a neighbourhood school in exchange for them taking some of our pupils for another subject. It is absolutely crazy! And the kids who wanted to do Int2 can't, because there are too few of them to justify it. We are a tiny school (80 kids between S56) and it looks like the council would love to shut us down!

Posted by theNavigator

I had one Advanced Higher English pupil last year, only doing the Creative Writing part of the course because we couldn't fit the rest for her in our timetables. Increasing numbers of S6 pupils have to leave our school to go elsewhere as our decreasing staff numbers mean they can't find a space in the timetable to do the subjects they wantneed.

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