Class size conundrum

12th November 2010 at 00:00

I believe the statutory limit on primary class sizes should be left at its present cap of 30. Reducing it to 25 for only P1 classes presents several difficulties.

Firstly, it compromises parental choice when it comes to placing requests and it will hinder the ability of some parents to find P1 places in good schools.

Secondly, at a time of severe budget constraints, one has to ask what effect this legal change will have in terms of class sizes in other year groups - whether we will see more composite classes in older year groups or more instances of bigger classes being shared by two teachers.

Evidence shows that parents across Scotland, quite rightly, want their children taught by good teachers in a well-disciplined environment. In many cases, they would prefer to have their children taught in a slightly bigger class if the result is that they can access a good school.

It is my belief that the current legislation is perfectly adequate and should be left alone - not tampered with by the SNP Government.

Liz Smith, shadow cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning, Scottish Parliament.

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