Miracles will not work without political will

9th February 1996 at 00:00
Jim Hudson states "We can't afford class sizes of 25 across the country"(TES Letters, January 26). What nonsense. In fact we can't afford not to have class sizes of 25 or smaller, if we are serious about improving the quality of education we can (and must) achieve if Britain is to succeed in the 21st century.

We all know that a few "gifted teachers" can achieve miracles with large primary classes but, of course, the great majority of teachers don't fall into this category and won't become talented by further training. As a head of three schools I have seen very good teachers become stressed and less effective when class sizes begin to rise. Equally I have seen average teachers excel when class sizes fall. (Is there research to substantiate these observations?) As for the money which Jim Hudson claims is just not there, it is there: it is the political will that is not there. Money for politically-inspired bureaucratic ventures is always forthcoming, likewise for new quangos, international conflicts, defence, and so on. Even the odd billion from the national lottery could be channelled into schools if our political masters felt inclined.

Class size is the issue and a long- overdue solution to the problem not only exists but is vital to Britain's long-term prosperity and the mental health of its over-stressed teaching force.

RGT BROWN Headteacher St Faith's infant school Lincoln.

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