Measures on class sizes simply mask a broken pledge;Letter

13th March 1998 at 00:00
The articles in The TES on February 20 touched on only some of the problems surrounding the money granted for large infant classes. Derbyshire local authority received the largest grant by far, yet it applied for cash for only one-third of its oversize classes. The other classes are in schools where there is no room to expand or where there are mixed-age classes. And the figures are counted in January, whereas classes reach maximum in the summer.

The scheme will be grossly unfair to other schools: where the head has taken on a full teaching load to keep class sizes down, the school will get not help.

Derbyshire will be taking on 100 extra infant teachers: will they have a job next year?

The scheme does not address the three fundamental problems: the delegated budgets for infant and primary schools are too low; there needs to be a new definition of when a school is full because putting classes in corridors, halls or library areas is unacceptable; a huge backlog of building requirements needs to be addressed.

Unless these problems are addressed, the scheme will remain an expensive facade covering up the failure to meet an election pledge.

DAVID FURNESS

Assistant secretary Derbyshire Association of Teachers Chesterfield Road Matlock

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