Class-size challenge

12th May 2000 at 01:00
AT its recent conference the National Union of Teachers reiterated the demand for all classes to be set at a statutory maximum of 30 pupils.

Over the past years more and more teachers have been "offered" the bribe of a classroom assistant to help with large classes. Many studies, including a major one by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, have shown that assistants are invaluable when given particular roles but should never be used as "cheap options" .

Teachers hold the reponsibility to teach every child on the register and cannot give proper attention to each pupil if classes are over 30.

At the next election, parties should make mandatory class-size a part of their manifesto and force the hands of government, the education authorities, heads and governors to ensure that this major improvement for the education of our children is achieved by the end of the next parliament.

Bob Tutton

Reading division NUT

12 Hazel Road, Reading

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