Classes do not come in convenient packages of 30

2nd May 1997 at 01:00
How refreshing to see the article by Denise Bates (TES, April 18) on the practical problems of reducing class sizes.

After the rhetoric of the teachers' unions, the Labour party, professors of education and the like, I am glad to see it acknowledged that children do not arrive in convenient packages of 30.

Last year, I asked the National Foundation for Educational Research, the Institute of Education, the Department for Education and Employment, and Labour party headquarters, to tell me how reducing class sizes would work in practice.

Not one could say how it could be done, and I got the impression that very little thought had been given to the subject.

The problem is far more complicated than politicians are prepared to admit, and the cynical exploitation of parents' fears will undoubtedly rebound on those who propose simple solutions to it. Imperfect as it is, the admission appeals process must stay.


Councillor London Borough of Havering Romford Essex

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